"I have been told that I am the 'Oxygen Angel,' and I hope there will be many more angels, not only of oxygen, but also in every area linked to (the fight against) this coronavirus pandemic and for the health of the population," says Peruvian Luis Barsallo, addressing his colleagues —big and small business owners in the privately-run health sector. In other words: earn what is fair, without committing any abuses.
At age 57, Barsallo has achieved a fame he did not expect just for doing the right thing.
He performs the miracle of selling oxygen
for only S/15 (about US$4.35) per cubic meter in a country where the price for the same amount can reach up to S/60 (about US$17.4).
The entrepreneur provides for himself and his family —with the sweat of his brow— but he does not take advantage of basic needs at times of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, Barsallo was surprised by the announcement of Congress, which has proposed to declare him as a "Health Hero."
"Thank you in advance for turning around to see me, but the best recognition for me is the affection of the public, whom we can supply oxygen
, as well as give comfort to their relatives who are in a hospital bed or at home. That is the greatest satisfaction that human beings can have," he says but affirms he is not interested in receiving any distinction from Congress.
Ordinary people thank him on a daily basis. "They leave comforted because they are bringing oxygen
, which is vital for life at this time of pandemic."
Within this framework, Barsallo urges his fellow entrepreneurs to reconsider their actions. "How can they sleep on their pillow knowing that they are ripping people off? It is an evil written with capital letters," he adds.
Every day, from 8.00 a.m., Barsallo begins to supply oxygen for customers from Lima and Callao, from the premises of Distribuidora Criogas Comercial S.A.C., which he runs in Callao region.
He knows at what time he opens the business, but not at what time his shift will end, due to the great demand for the vital O2.
Oxygen is lacking not only for private individuals, as ambulance technicians also arrive at his center of operations. Barsallo and his employees know how to give them priority. The important thing is to help save more lives. He is an angel.