Israel is planning to send a medical team and equipment to Uruguay to help doctors there deal with the country’s burgeoning COVID-19 caseload, according to a report by The Jerusalem Post.
The medical team is being sent by Sheba Medical Center’s Israel Center for Disaster Medicine and Humanitarian Response, established in 2017 by highly experienced specialists in the field to lead the preparation and response to global humanitarian crises and emergencies.
The medical delegation will be preceded by a shipment of medical equipment being sent in the next few days to Montevideo to be used to set up an operational critical-care COVID-19 unit.
Sheba has also invited doctors and nurses from the country to come to Israel for training, according to the hospital’s deputy director, Prof. Arnon Afek.
Uruguay’s Ambassador to Israel, Bernardo Grevier, thanked the Jewish State and the medical center for assisting the people of Uruguay. “Your assistance to the people of Uruguay during the week of your [independence Day] celebrations has even more significance,” he said, noting that his country was among the first to recognize Israel’s independence in 1948.
“We hope that after this crisis passes we will increase our collaboration with Uruguay’s health care system,” said Yosef Bar Magen, head of the hospital’s Friends of Latin America organization.
According to the US Embassy in Uruguay, since March 13 there are a total of 162,400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 31,216 active cases of the virus. The country’s coronavirus death toll has reached 1,848, the embassy said.
PCR-PT COVID-19 tests in the country are being made available through the local insurance companies; however, for those who don’t have coverage, the current cost of the test is $6000 Uruguayan pesos, or approximately $126 US dollars. At present, local medical personnel are administering coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and China’s Sinovac company.
Nevertheless, the United States’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted a travel warning for the country, saying “Travelers should avoid all travel to Uruguay. . . Because of the current situation [there] even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Uruguay.”