Since the beginning of the pandemic, the U.S. Embassy in Uruguay has been working with the Uruguayan government to focus U.S. government assistance on areas of greatest need.
Since March 2020, the United States has committed to donate more than $4.6 million in assets to Uruguay for its COVID-19 response, in the form of medical supplies and inputs, technology, humanitarian assistance, and other tools that can contribute to strengthening its health system and assisting the most vulnerable people in emergency situations.
As part of these donations, the first of three U.S. mobile field hospitals arrived to the Rivera department in early February. The U.S. government is donating the hospitals to the National Emergency System (SINAE, in Spanish), as part of U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP, in Spanish), under the U.S. Department of Defense.
This field hospital includes four large modular tents that are connected to a central unit and can be set up in different configurations. The hospital has a power generator, as well as heating and air recycling systems. In addition, it will be equipped with 40 portable stainless steel stretchers, washing machines, and chemical toilets to serve 40 patients. The U.S. Embassy’s Office of Defense Cooperation coordinated this donation, worth $405,000, including all hospital equipment.
The U.S. government is donating a total of three hospitals, as part of its commitment to assist the Uruguayan government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The other two hospitals will have the same number of beds, but will be better equipped, with showers, bathrooms, and hard floors, among other things. Each equipped hospital will cost $1 million ($2 million in total) and should arrive in Uruguay in April.
One option under consideration for the field hospital is for the Uruguayan Red Cross — an organization that the U.S. Embassy cooperated with during the pandemic — to manage it as a contingency center for people who enter the country while awaiting their results. In 2020, the Uruguayan Red Cross, through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, started to use the $500,000 in funds that the U.S. Embassy donated on behalf of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), to cope with the COVID-19 crisis in Uruguay.