Uruguayan president Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou and his Argentine peer, Alberto Fernandez held a half-hour video conference Tuesday mid-morning to address the recent decision by the current Argentine administration to freeze Mercosur free trade negotiations with potential new partners and instead concentrate efforts in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and its sanitary, social, economic and employment consequences.
Brazil's giant meatpacker Marfrig Global Foods CEO, Miguel Gularte, said the company has resumed sales of fresh beef to the US following a decision by US authorities to open their market to Brazilian beef. American slaughterhouses have been closing amid coronavirus social distancing rules and this has led to unmet demand within the US.
In the midst of the chaotic situation caused by the pandemic, the Argentine government announced the abandonment of Mercosur negotiations to prioritize the country’s domestic economy and the struggle against the virus. The rest of the bloc members must evaluate legal, institutional, and operational measures emerging from the decision.
The last cruise of “Greg Mortimer” when it left Ushuaia on March 15th was an invitation to disaster, and now “we are asking for a humanitarian corridor to take us, as they did with passengers, to our home countries”, said Mauricio Usme, chief medical officer on board the Aurora Expeditions vessel.
After the departure from Montevideo of the last medical flight with passengers of the stranded Antarctic cruise Greg Mortimer, the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, sent a letter to Uruguay’s President, Luis Lacalle Pou, acknowledging the action of his government for its collaboration with Australian citizens.
The final leg of the humanitarian repatriation of passengers on board an Antarctic cruise, stranded in Uruguay and most of them testing positive for coronavirus, ended Wednesday afternoon when they boarded in Uruguay's Carrasco international airport a sanitary charter to Miami.
The Uruguayan government announced on Tuesday that it will evacuate the remaining passengers on the Antarctic cruise ship Greg Mortimer through a second humanitarian corridor. There will be about 15 passengers who have remained in the ship anchored in front of the port of Montevideo, where there are people with the COVID-19 disease.
The last passengers residing on an Australian ocean liner, anchored off Montevideo for more than two weeks with cases of COVID-19 on board, will be evacuated to the United States by a medical chartered flight, announced on Tuesday the American embassy in Uruguay.
According to the estimates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Uruguayan economy will decrease by 3% this 2020. The “great closure” has been how the international body has defined, as the title of its World Economic Outlook, government measures against the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19.
With a large improvised banner reading “Gracias Uruguay” (Thank you Uruguay) on starboard the COVID-19 infected “Greg Mortimer” finally docked in the port of Montevideo on Friday and at 22:00 Uruguay hour started the medical evacuation of over a hundred cruisers from Australia and New Zealand who are to be charter flown to Melbourne, and expected to arrive on Easter Sunday.