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Mexico seeks more medical equipment from U.S. and China

Mexico's President Obrador holds a news conference in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico is seeking more medical equipment from the United States and China to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday.

Lopez Obrador told a regular government news conference that he spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday and asked him to sell Mexico 10,000 ventilators and 10,000 monitors to care for coronavirus patients.

“I told him that we know the very difficult situation they are going through, the lack of ventilators in general,” he said. “But I also expressed to him that they have more options. They have more plants, more technological development, and they have more economic resources.”

Lopez Obrador said Trump promised to consult with his administration and respond to the request on Friday.

Several large U.S. companies produce medical equipment and supplies in Mexico, taking advantage of lower manufacturing costs.

The Mexican leader ended the news conference early to hold a call with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Lopez Obrador said he would thank the Chinese president for the medical equipment China has already sold to Mexico and discuss the need to acquire more devices to avoid shortfalls.

On Tuesday, a plane with 10 tons of gloves and masks from China arrived in Mexico, and another aircraft with more medical equipment was expected to arrive on Friday.

(Reporting by Raul Cortes Fernandez; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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