The Falkland Islands Government has urged people in the islands to “take extra care” in undertaking high-risk activities due to the Covid-19 situation in Chile and Uruguay making it “extremely difficult” to arrange the medical evacuation from the Falklands.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the islands’ Chief Medical Officer, Dr Beccy Edwards, said: “As cases of Covid-19 continue to surge in South America, it is severely impacting on our ability to get people out of the Islands for the critical care and treatment that they may need.”
“Anything the public can do to help reduce the demand for [medical evacuation] services really helps the King Edward Memorial Hospital and the hospitals we work with in Chile and Uruguay in particular,” concluded Edwards.
Former Director of the British Hospital of Montevideo, Dr Jorge C Stanham (R) OBE, confirmed MercoPress that the Hospital's Medical Directorate will have to decide on a case by case basis the ability to admit a critical care patient evacuated from the Falkland Islands
The British Hospital specifically and the Uruguayan health system in general are facing a situation of severe strain on their critical care systems, the source informed. Recent daily cases have peaked at 2500-3000 and may increase further.
The statement from Edwards comes as daily Covid-19 cases in Uruguay reached a new daily high of 35 deaths on Thursday and 3,088 new cases on Wednesday. In Chile, officials announced a month-long closure of the country’s borders on Thursday to prevent the entry of new Covid-19 variants and halt the spread of the virus.
However, Uruguay managed to position itself in the last few hours as the country with the highest rate of vaccination against covid-19 among those with more than one million inhabitants.
Uruguay reached that mark by reaching 1.04 daily doses per 100 people applied - on average - in the last seven days, and thus surpassed the United Arab Emirates, which with 1.02 was in first place, according to the World in Data platform ranking. On 28 March, the country had already overtaken Chile, the other Latin American country on the world podium, with an average of 0.93.