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Montevideo, September 29th 2023 - 03:53 UTC



Dramatic Covid-19 situation in Southern Brazil threatens Rivera, Uruguay

Friday, March 5th 2021 - 08:57 UTC
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Uruguay is very concerned, and threatened, by the situation in the city of Rivera, bordering the Brazilian city of Santana do Livramento, Rio Grande do Sul state, where the number of infections is alarming and continues to grow, while the Intensive Care Centers in the capital Porto Alegre are saturated.

According to the figures managed by the Departmental Emergency Committee of Rivera, there are currently 574 active cases, but crossing the line to the Brazilian side, the situation is dramatic.

Rivera and Santana do Livramento are sister cities - one could even say that they are two neighborhoods of the same city - divided by an imaginary border that crosses the main avenue of both cities and allows anyone standing on it to be in both countries at the same time. It is called dry border due to the impossibility of cutting mobility between both cities and it has been considered a time bomb for the control of the pandemic by the Uruguayan authorities.

“The reality of the neighbors of the integrated city is very complex.” explained the Mayor of Rivera, Richard Sandler due to the greater mobility of people because of the beginning of classes and the vaccination against Covid-19.

”Moreover, Santana do Livramento is with “black flag” by the amount of contagions that does not stop growing and the fact that the Intensive Care Centers even in Porto Alegre are saturated.“

In this regard, Mayor Sandler plans to travel to Montevideo and request a special report to the Honorary Scientific Advisory Group, GACH, of the presidency of Uruguay. Also in the last hours, tents were set up to shelter refugees entering through the dry border and the visit of representatives of the US embassy, UNHCR and the Uruguayan vice-chancellor, Carolina Ache, is expected.

Information coming from Porto Alegre indicates that refrigerated containers will be installed in hospital annexes to store the corpses, as there are delays in funeral parlors and cemeteries.

Likewise, the Intensive Care Centers are saturated with 2,818 patients, both in public and private hospitals, and it is also noted with concern that 35% of the patients are under 60 years of age.

A ”black flag” has also been imposed, which implies the closure of all non-essential businesses, the prohibition to stay on the beaches, the suspension of on-site classes and on-site medical attention, among other restrictive measures.

The Governor's Office also temporarily suspended the power of regional and municipal co-management to apply the protocols and state-wide measures. Some municipalities had already established confinement and limited the circulation of people and vehicles.

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