Play in with a cup of tea (

Philipp Weber (ro) and the German team gained courage for the World Cup with two wins against Austria.

Photo: imago images / Laci Perenyi

At the very end, Hanning formulated a sentence that was both an invitation and a wish. “Now we’re going to hit Uruguay tomorrow with a cup of tea in hand,” said the Vice President of the German Handball Federation (DHB). He was sitting in the hotel of the German team not far from the pyramids of Giza when he expressed his hope that with the opening game against the South Americans on Friday the debate about the World Cup in Egypt will be thematically shifted – away from corona tests and hygiene concerns, towards sport.

The tea symbolizes a certain serenity that Hanning would like for the next few days. In the run-up to the tournament, the event was questioned and this discussion received a powerful tailwind after the USA and the Czech Republic had to be excluded because there had been too many corona infections. All 32 participating teams have now arrived in and around the Egyptian capital and there has been no positive case within the tournament bubble.

For Philipp Weber the health aspects do not play a major role anyway. “Other people are responsible for that, I feel safe here,” said the backcourt player from SC DHfK Leipzig: “We are here to play handball and I am looking forward to it.” Weber’s joy in the game will be necessary, because national coach Alfred Gislason has chosen him as the number one playmaker. For the first time against Uruguay, the Leipziger is challenged to give the game of the German team the clearest possible contour. The South Americans will not be a stumbling block for the DHB selection: It is not about the victory itself, but about “getting into the tournament well,” as Gislason put it. Many players on the Icelandic’s team are playing a world championship for the first time and therefore they have to be convinced as quickly as possible that they are good enough to survive at this level. They have that feeling, after all, they are all seasoned Bundesliga players, but they need to be confirmed in competition.

Uruguay’s handball players are basically a pleasant opponent, because they are only in the lower average on an international scale. However, Gislason and Weber pointed out independently of one another, the South Americans will defend themselves with great physical effort. “We mustn’t let ourselves be impressed by the hardness,” demanded Weber. Simply stick to your own concept, even if it will sometimes cause pain, is the motto of the German handball players.

For the reformed team against Uruguay, it’s about continuing to work on the matter of course on the field. In the clear victories in the European Championship qualification against Austria, which were also the test games before the World Cup, the team showed positive approaches. Andreas Wolff was almost euphoric after the second comparison against the neighbor, a 34:20 win. “I’m really up for it,” he said. The goalkeeper is convinced that the team is well prepared for the demands of a World Cup. The stress test during the tournament is still pending.

Gislason, the old coach, also felt joy before his tournament premiere as coach of the German national team. “I’m always tense,” he said, referring to the 60 minutes against Uruguay. Nevertheless, the Icelander let it be known that he was expecting success, as was the case in the second preliminary round against the Cape Verde Islands on Sunday. “We won’t know where we stand until after the game against Hungary,” said Gislason. The game against the Magyars is on the World Cup schedule next Tuesday. The 60 minutes against the Hungarians will show how big the role of the Germans can be in this tournament. In the best case scenario, until then only the athletic chances are discussed – and not about positive test results and gaps in the bladder.


The illustrated way of doing medicine has its cultists in Uruguay – 01/07/2021

“How do you explain to a child or adolescent what their mother or father is experiencing in the CTI? It’s hard. But, what happens if you develop community access material with a simpler message that combines text with graphics? With that restlessness and with the impulse that gives him his passion for drawing, the intensivist doctor Arturo briva started to develop Notes from the CTI.

The particularity of these notes is the prominence that the drawings have to explain, in this case, how an Intensive Care Center works. It is what is known as Graphic Medicine, a movement that began in the United States a few years ago and is gaining momentum in Spain today.

graphic medicine
“Apuntes de CTI” is a creation of the intensive care physician Arturo Briva.

“In Uruguay I know that there are many colleagues who use the graphic part, especially for teaching, but there is no group formed in this regard,” said Briva, who defines drawing as one of his vices.

That passion comes from a very young age and led his parents to give him one of the famous correspondence courses that were advertised in the Patoruzú or Isidoro magazines. “It was a very rustic thing, very simple and with a technical quality that is not compared to any real drawing course. But as a child it was a super gift, ”he said and confessed to having learned more by copying others.

Although today it is defined as a log – “what I do are doodles that I and a friend like” -, about three years ago he became more interested in the application of drawings in graphic medicine to develop it in Uruguay. “You have to work with the language. It is not doing the drawing and putting text on it, you have to polish it. It is not just making a comic, ”clarified who is also a teacher and researcher.

It started with a very simple goal: try to convey a written idea that is as concrete as possible and reinforce it with images. “Sometimes the drawing says exactly the same as the text or tries to find its way around so that the image and text complement each other,” he explained about what he disseminates through his Twitter account (@arturobriva).

graphic medicine
The drawings of “Brief Illustrated History of Neurosciences” are by Luis Domitrovic

It is very useful to appeal to well-known characters or to refer to a movie because that hooks the recipient more, especially if it is a public outside of medicine. “Someone likes the character, sees him drawn there and pays a little more attention to him beyond the fact that he is never going to make a mechanic ventilation“, said.

That is another point, graphic medicine can be aimed at both professionals and the general public. Today, for example, he considers that it could be very useful to communicate information about the COVID-19. “Sometimes you hear about intensive medicine and COVID with a totally wrong vision. If I send a super technical message and I hope that that message, for which 5% of Uruguay was prepared, will understand the rest, I am going astray. On the other hand, a simpler message in the information load but not in the quality, is very valuable for society in general ”, he remarked.

That is why he firmly believes that graphic medicine can be a very powerful tool when communicating, without replacing a text or a video, but complementing them. “Any way we have to communicate to the population we have the obligation to take advantage of it. If someone understands something essentially complex about medicine with this tool, it is a great goal ”, he added.

graphic medicine
The material is disseminated on the social networks of those responsible, especially on Twitter.

Graphic novels

Briva said that graphic medicine also develops the idea of ​​making a kind of soap operas with some pathology or experience as a starting point. It is something more complex than the intensivist imagines he could do later.

In Uruguay, the person who does something that is very close to him is the neurosurgeon and teacher Fernando Martinez. Brief Illustrated History of Neurosciences It is an initiative that he faced with his Argentine colleague Luis Domitrovic.

“Luis is a neurosurgeon and radiologist, a medical draftsman, and tremendously talented and intelligent. He has won prizes for drawing and painting ”, said Martínez of his partner, who lives in Spain and with whom he began to make cartoons with non-medical texts years ago.

A cartoon in which Don Quixote and Sancho Panza fought against windmills in the style Transformers it was the trigger for them to think of appealing to the graphic to inform about the history of the specialty. Thus, Martínez is in charge of the texts. Domitrovic reviews them and looks for a way to illustrate them.

They came at a good pace until they were forced to stop to attend to responsibilities related to the pandemic.

“We have done from the beginning of history to Claudio Galen. When we have time, either of us is going to hook him back up, ”Martínez said.

graphic medicine
History is currently interrupted by the pandemic, but they are going to resume it.

Domitrovic publica en su blog ( and Martínez disseminates his material on his Twitter (@fermartneuro) and through the Uruguayan Society of Neurosurgery.

“They have told me ‘hey, how good that is, it’s entertaining’ or ‘I read it with my granddaughter because she likes drawings and it is my way of introducing her to medicine,'” said the neurosurgeon about the repercussions of a an initiative that is aimed at the general public and that, therefore, does not include technical language except when there is no other option.

The repercussions have been very good and there are even colleagues who have offered to collaborate.

From his role as a teacher, Martínez evaluated that this is a very good way to transmit knowledge because it makes learning more enjoyable. “It amuses me to see Aristotle or Hippocrates as a caricature and not as a very circumspect gentleman teaching everything he knew. It entertains me, it frees my head a lot and allows me to face work in a different way, ”he told El País. But what he likes the most are the returns he receives, things like “I have never read neuroscience in my life, but the way they are presenting it I like it.”

Neuroscience in illustrations

“Our goal is to tell you with text and drawing, the main historical events that marked the neurosciences, as well as the most notable characters and the contributions they made to the knowledge of the nervous system,” they say in their introduction to Brief Illustrated History of Neurosciences neurosurgeons Fernando Martinez and Luis Domitrovic, a Uruguayan and an Argentine who practice Graphic Medicine.


Edinson Cavani: “We are Cavani” (

Edison Cavani

Foto: imago images/PA Images

Uruguayan Edinson Cavani has to pay a fine of £ 100,000. Cavani plays soccer for Manchester United in the English Premier League. There he scored two goals in the game against Southampton FC and then thanked a friend on Instagram with the words “Gracias, negrito” for his congratulations.

Cavani’s choice of words called on the English Football Association. Shortly before the end of the year, the association rated the greeting as “insulting, abusive and inappropriate”. The player made reference to skin color or ethnic origin and thus violated the association’s rules. In addition to the fine, he banned Cavani from playing three games and required him to take part in a number of classes on racism.

Legal professionals should answer the authority with which the Football Association sanctions a personal concern that took place away from the football field. For the sake of peace, Cavani accepted the association’s decision, but rejected the reason. “I accept the disciplinary sanctions as I know I am not familiar with the customs of the English language, but I do not share the view of the English Association,” the player tweeted.

Blanco and Negro are the common words for white and black in Spanish-speaking South America and, in relation to people, white and black. Blanquito or Negrito is the respective diminutive. The Google Translator would like to translate the latter as “Negro child”. But Edison Cavani didn’t use an N-word.

The dictionary of the Academia Argentina de Letras contains the following entry: »Negro, -gra. (colloquial). Trustworthy treatment that replaces the first name and is used to shout, ask for attention, or direct the word to a person. ”The use of the diminutive increases the affective sense. The dictionary of the Academy of Spanish Language on the Río de la Plata corresponds to the Duden in German-speaking countries. In acknowledgment of Cavani, the Academy stated: “Anyone who uses our language in this part of the world understands that this word, used in the context that resulted in the punishment, has a clear affective meaning, completely devoid of discriminatory or racial nuances . “She demanded the suspension of the sentence and an apology to the player -” for the fact that his good name has been unduly damaged. “

Those in charge of Uruguay’s football club Plaza Colonia reacted indignantly. “The English raided and occupied countries and are still doing so, they persecuted and executed people because they thought differently, they enslaved them, denied them their rights and championed religious intolerance. Today they are the judges of morality without considering context or culture. We are Cavani, «tweeted the club that won the championship in 2016.


Tabare Vázquez, leader and symbol of the left in Uruguay, dies

A tireless gladiator in the fight against tobacco and the first left-wing president in Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez died this Sunday at the age of 80 from lung cancer, according to his family. On August 20, 2019, in a surprise statement to the press at the headquarters of the Presidency, Vázquez, an oncologist by profession, reported that they had detected a “right pulmonary nodule” with a “malignant” appearance.

With a sober style and a commanding voice in the left-wing Frente Amplio (FA) coalition, Vázquez, a socialist by origin, businessman and Freemason, ended his first government in 2010 with an approval rating of over 70%. In his second term, he did not do so well: in the midst of a stagnation of the economy and with a much lower profile, his popularity fell to less than 40%.

Born into a working class family, Vázquez worked as a carpenter, clerk and was a waiter to pay for his medical studies. «I come from a very humble home and I was able to study, in the public school, the public high school (…). I am a product of all this and I feel deeply grateful and committed to Uruguayan society, “he said in an interview with the VTV channel. Graduated in 1969, he dedicated his career to Oncology after, between 1962 and 1968, his sister, mother and father died of cancer.

Neither family misfortunes nor financial difficulties stopped the growth of this doctor who had in his wife, María Auxiliadora, who died in July 2019, his great support for more than 50 years. Together they formed a family with four children, one of them adopted. “I never aspired to pursue a political career, my thing was medicine, with a social issue,” he confessed in an interview broadcast on November 29 on Channel 10. In 1989 Vázquez won the Intendance (governor) of Montevideo and came to the Presidency after the 2004 elections, after two frustrated attempts in 1994 and 1999.

During his first term (2005-2010), tax and health reforms were approved, wage bargaining for workers was reinstated, a social emergency plan was created after the 2002 economic crisis, and the “Ceibal Plan” was implemented. laptops to public school students. His frontal fight against tobacco brought him worldwide fame. He promoted the campaign that made Uruguay the first smoke-free country in Latin America in 2006, and the fifth in the world, by banning smoking in closed public spaces. He systematically raised tobacco taxes, among other measures, and had a tough confrontation with the multinational Philip Morris, which in 2010 initiated an arbitration process against Uruguay before ICSID, the World Bank’s trade dispute settlement body in Washington. Uruguay won the process in 2016, with Vázquez again in the Presidency.


Efficient public health is protecting Uruguay from the Covid-19 pandemic

Public health and social responsibility are the ways to defeat the Covid-19 (and pandemics in general): this is the lesson offered to the world by Uruguay, which has less than 11,000 cases since March with just over 100 deaths. An almost unique case among Latin American countries and in general a brilliant example of management on a global level.

As the newspaper reports The vanguard, just over ten years ago, during the president’s first term Jose Pepe Mujica, Uruguay has launched an ambitious public health plan which today proved to be crucial to curb the coronavirus.

Few countries in the world have such a universal health system and few Latin American countries have such an egalitarian society, with a large majority citizens willing to live their individual freedom with a strong social responsibility.

Uruguay has about 3.5 million inhabitants and with current numbers its death rate from Covid-19 does not reach 3 out of 100,000 inhabitants. For comparison, in Italy we are at a rate of about 111 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants and other Latin American countries still have rates much higher than that of Uruguay.

A universal health system

The state has spent a decade investing 20% ​​of GDP in a universal health system. According to the World Health Organization. Uruguay is a real example, with one of the most accessible healthcare systems in the world, a vast network of family doctors that treat patients at home and that this year have been fundamental in preventing the spread of Covid-19.

“In 2007 the Integrated National Health System brought together the private and public subsystems – reads the overview of the text ‘Building up the national integrated health system – Uruguay case study‘- Its purpose was to provide a comprehensive and fair universal health coverage as part of a single benefit plan known as the Integrated Health Care Plan, which shifted the focus of service delivery towards basic health care, prevention and health promotion activities. The paper discusses the reform which has led to a series of positive changes and efficiency gains from improved institutional arrangements, governance and the provision of health insurance services ”.

Before, in fact, the Uruguayan healthcare offer was highly fragmented, which led to poor efficiency, difficult coordination and complex and diversified contribution schemes, which varied according to geographic location, their ability to attract customers as well as the age and risk of the population. With Covid all this would have turned out to be a disaster.

An effective fight against the coronavirus

© Sistema Nacional de Emergencias Uruguay (data updated to 17 December 2020)

The Prehospital Emergency System offers assistance to the population in their own homes or in the closest places possible, has avoided unnecessary hospital admissions, which in other parts of the world are creating confusion, delays and poor assistance, contributing to the increase in the lethality of the disease. Alongside this, the country enjoys a National Assistance System, focused on children, the elderly and non self-sufficient people, the latter particularly vulnerable to the virus.

And it doesn’t stop there.

“Uruguay not only has a first-rate health system – explains Giovanni Escalante, representative of the WHO and the Pan-American Health Organization – but it has also managed organize itself towards neighboring countries”.

Which, as we know, are not shining in the same way, with Brazil and Argentina where the situation is dire from a health point of view due to the pandemic.

The non-interest wins, as does the culture of social responsibility. Two very rare things, as an invisible creature is teaching us.

Fonti di riferimento: La Vanguardia / WHO / National Emergency System Uruguay

Read also:


Uruguay shields its borders due to the growth of Covid-19 cases

Uruguay will suspend entry to the country from December 21 to January 10, due to the increase in cases and deaths from coronavirus, President Luis Lacalle Pou announced tonight.

“We made the decision to suspend entry into the country between December 21 and January 10,” the president said at a press conference.

After a meeting with his Council of Minister, the president also announced restrictions and changes in the capacity of buses and shops, and also the suspension of public shows, among other preventive measures, reported the Sputnik agency and the Montevideo newspaper El País .

Uruguay is in its first wave of coronavirus infections, said earlier today, researcher Rafael Radi, of the Honorary Scientific Advisory Group (GACH) that works with the Government, at a time when the country has more than 200 prisoners in quarantine per outbreaks in prisons and registered today, for the first time, the death of four people in one day, with which it exceeded 100 fatalities.

“In Uruguay, it has already gone from a stage of only outbreaks of cases to community circulation in the metropolitan area and is in its first wave of infections. We had not had a first wave yet due to the set of measures that had been developed,” he said Radio at a press conference.

Since the end of November, Uruguay has been experiencing an exponential increase in daily cases, assets and deaths, which forced the Executive to advance the announcement of new measures, which would take place no later than tomorrow, the news agency quoted. Sputnik.

There are currently 3,649 active cases, 44 of them in intensive care and none in intermediate care.

Of the total of confirmed positive cases, 860 correspond to health personnel; 630 of them have already recovered, 227 are suffering from the disease and three have died.


Days ago, the new Minister of Tourism of Brazil, Gilson Machado, assured this Thursday that the tourism sector “will not endure” the measures against the coronavirus that again imply closures and quarantines, so he asked the local authorities to rule out This possibility.

“I take the opportunity to appeal to the municipal and state authorities so that they do not decide to close the activities related to tourism again, especially in the Christmas period,” he asked.

“We will not have an economic recovery,” Machado assured in a note issued after his official confirmation in the post one day after the dismissal of the former head of this portfolio, Marcelo Álvaro Antonio, amid accusations by the latter about an alleged attempt by the former to kick him out of the Ministry.

“We will have the best possible economic recovery thanks to tourism. That is why I make this appeal, we cannot close the sector again,” insisted Machado, who in turn has defended the work of the Government of Brazil and its Ministry in the fight against COVID -19.

“The Ministry of Tourism has been an example of how to inform the whole country about the best sanitary practices to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” he said, while the Government “brought homework done”, approving measures that ” they protected the jobs of Brazilians. “


From Monday to Friday, our editors’ selection of the most relevant information for each day.


Obituary for Tabaré Vazquez: Left, successful, democratic

Tabaré Vazquez was the first left-wing president of Uruguay. He took on Philip Morris and won. Now he has died of lung cancer.

Died of cancer at the age of 80: Uruguay’s first left-wing president Tabaré Vazquez Photo: ap

BUENOS AIRES taz | Tabaré Vázquez is dead. Uruguay’s former president died on Sunday at the age of 80. Vázquez was the country’s first left-wing president to put an end to more than 150 years of rule by the conservative and liberal parties. He held the office of President twice, from 2005 to 2010 and from 2015 to 2020. He was elected to office as a candidate for the broad political alliance Frente Amplio (Broad Front). In an interview with taz at the time, he said that the left had “opened up to the struggle within the democratic system, and it has matured.”

The fact that the trained cancer doctor died as a result of lung cancer is not without a sad irony. During his first term in office, he had taken up the fight against smoking. In 2006 he banned his country people from smoking in public and closed spaces. Three years later, warning notices and photos had to be printed on 80 percent of the surface of the cigarette packs, and trivializing terms such as ‘light’ or ‘menthol’ were banned.

The reaction did not fail to appear. The US cigarette company Philip Morris saw its rights violated, insisted on an investment protection agreement and filed a lawsuit worth millions with the World Bank’s arbitration board. In 2016 the lawsuit was dismissed in its entirety. Vázquez wavered between relief and cheer. He knew the importance of this precedent judgment and that cigarette manufacturers and health officials around the world had followed the case closely.

“I had never aspired to a political career, my thing was to approach medicine as a social problem,” he said in one of his last interviews. Born on January 17, 1940, the fourth of five children, little Tabaré grew up in the working-class La Teja district of Montevideo. The father, a worker at the state oil company ANCAP, was fired and temporarily imprisoned after a conflict between the company and the union. It was a formative experience for the then 11-year-old boy.

About football to politics

The death of his wife María Auxiliadora Delgado in July 2019 was a severe blow to Vázquez. The two married in 1964, later their sons Álvaro and Javier were born. It was she who supported the family financially at the beginning and allowed Vázquez to finish his medical studies. As an oncologist, he finally held a chair in the medicine department of the national university.

Tabaré Vázquez came to politics through football. At the end of the 1970s he got involved with the ‘Club Atlético Progreso’, one of the smaller clubs in Montevideo. In 1979 he became president of the club that won the first and only championship during his tenure. An event that guarantees an extremely high level of awareness on the Río de la Plata. In the mid-1980s he joined the Partido Socialista, quickly became part of its leadership and rose to become party chairman.

In 1990 he was elected the first left mayor of the 1.3 million city of Montevideo, the ideal stepping stone to the highest office of the state, as almost half of the population lives here. However, he only made it to the top of the state on the third attempt. The fact that he later resigned from the Socialist Party as president was due to his conservative stance on the question of abortion. In 2008 he vetoed a liberalization of the strict abortion regulations decided by Congress.

His dream is “that none of the rights that the Uruguayan people have conquered will be lost and that progress in improving health, education, adequate housing will continue” and that the “workers can be heard with their legitimate demands” said Vázquez before handing over the post to the conservative successor Luis Lacalle Pou in March.


Former Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez dies at 80

Montevideo, Uruguay.

The former Uruguayan president Tabaré Vazquez (2005-2010 and 2015-2020) died at dawn this Sunday at the age of 80, after suffering from lung cancer, his family reported.

“With deep pain we communicate the death of our dear father” at three in the morning “due to natural causes of his oncological disease,” said a statement from his sons Álvaro, Javier and Ignacio Vázquez.

On Twitter, Alvaro Vazquez, an oncologist by profession like his father, indicated that “while he was resting at home, accompanied by some relatives and friends, Tabaré died of his illness.”

“On behalf of the family, we want to thank all Uruguayans for the affection received by him over so many years,” he added.

President Luis Lacalle Pou, of the National Party (center right), who received command from Vázquez on March 1, said in a tweet that his predecessor “faced his last battle with courage and serenity.”

Can read: Covid-19 vaccination campaign starts in Moscow

“We had instances of personal and political dialogue that I value and will remember. He served his country and based on the effort he obtained important achievements. He was the President of the Uruguayans. The country is in mourning. RIP President Tabaré Vázquez,” he added.

“I have the hope and desire to be able to put the presidential sash on the next president of the Republic,” said Vázquez on October 27, 2019, when voting in the elections after being diagnosed in August with cancer and losing his wife María Auxiliadora Delgado, who died in July, with whom he shared more than 50 years.

“I want to be remembered as a serious and responsible president,” he said in the program “El Legado”, on Channel 10, broadcast on November 29, in which he reviewed his life.

Tabaré VazquezAn oncologist and former leader of the local soccer club Progreso, he was the first candidate from the left-wing coalition Frente Amplio (FA) to become the mayor of Montevideo in 1989, and to the presidency -after two failed attempts- in 2005, breaking with the hegemony of the traditional Colorado Party and National Party.

The FA highlighted “his example of political integrity and unwavering commitment to our country and the people, will drive us to continue his legacy.”

The Secretary of the Presidency, Álvaro Delgado, offered “our institutional and personal respect to a leader and Governor who made history, always taking care of the values ​​of democracy. Our greetings to his family and @Frente_Amplio in this moment of pain.”

“Defend joy”

Vázquez’s relatives indicated that, due to the protocols for the coronavirus pandemic, they decided “not to hold a wake.” “His children and grandchildren will see him off in a reserved and intimate ceremony,” they explained.

At 1:00 p.m. local time (4:00 p.m. GMT) a funeral procession will depart from the Esplanade of the Municipal Administration of Montevideo, in the center of the capital, to the La Teja Cemetery, the ex-president’s neighborhood, where he will also be buried in an intimate ceremony.

“We urge the population to accompany us in these acts from their homes through journalistic coverage,” their relatives urged.

Also: Hundreds of Guatemalans call for Giammattei’s resignation for the third consecutive Saturday

Likewise, they “earnestly” requested “those who choose to greet the procession in person to do so from the sidewalks, avoiding crowds, maintaining physical distancing, wearing face masks and taking all the sanitary measures established by the competent authorities.”

The FA indicated in turn that “the caravan will stop blocks before reaching the cemetery” and that they will say goodbye “by sounding the horns without getting out of the vehicles.”

Likewise, he called at 9:00 p.m. (00:00 GMT) to “open doors and windows of our homes and put the text by Mario Benedetti, set to music by Joan Manuel Serrat, Defender la Alegría ( v = 1FY43hUjIIo) and then clap for 5 minutes. “

The messages of the citizens followed one another on social networks to mourn his death.

“THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU TABARÉ VÁZQUEZ! Very deep regret for our people who lose a politician of race, an extraordinary doctor and a human being who did everything for his people. May there be peace wherever you are, together with your beloved María Auxiliadora Uruguay owes you a lot, “@ClauPochi tweeted.


Coronavirus | Concern in Uruguay about contagions on the border: “The situation is serious”

Coronavirus: the Government of Uruguay looks with concern at the increase in infections. (Photo: EFE)

The Uruguayan Defense Minister Javier Garcia He warned that the country had “lost respect” for the coronavirus and called for greater “citizen commitment.” “There was a decrease in the perception of risk and, when respect for a biological enemy the consequences can be very serious, “he added.

The official gave a press conference this Saturday in the city of Rivera, on the border with Brazil, as part of his visit to the interior department of Uruguay most affected by the spread of the coronavirus.

“The situation is serious and we must not avoid what is happening“Said the minister. “We are going to overcome the difficulty, but for that we need citizen commitment. Concentrations of people cannot be held. Even family members ”, he stressed.

The number of people on the streets of Rivera began to decline this Saturday after the country’s government increased controls. “We are in a very particular geographic and epidemiological reality, located between the third and the fifth country with the highest contagion in the world, ”said the head of the portfolio, referring to Brazil and Argentina.

As explained by García, in the last hours they installed five new checkpoints, three of them in the commercial area of ​​the city, where the military is in charge of carrying out health checks. At those points, people’s temperature is taken and it is insisted that they wear masks and maintain the corresponding distance to avoid contagion. According to the minister, the measure was accepted “unanimously” by the population of the border city.

The health situation in Uruguay

According to the report presented this Friday by the National Emergency System of Uruguay (Sinae), in the country there were 59 new cases, 11 of them in Rivera. The population of that city maintains a binational life, since it shares a dry border with Brazil and its transit from one side of the country to the other is carried out without restrictions.

The Sinae detailed that in the past day they made 3054 tests and, in addition to the 11 in Rivera, there were 30 positives in Montevideo, six in Canelones, five in Tacuarembó, two in Artigas, one in Colonia, one in Flores, one in Paysandú, one in Río Negro and another in Soriano.

Coronavirus in Uruguay: there are currently 443 people who are suffering from the disease.  (Photo: AFP)
Coronavirus in Uruguay: there are currently 443 people who are suffering from the disease. (Photo: AFP)

Of all the new positives, 34 come from close contacts, seven are imported cases and six are from military personnel who arrived from an operational peacekeeping mission in the Congo. Despite the fact that the largest number of infections continues to be in Montevideo, Rivera’s situation is what reveals to the authorities.

In this sense, this Thursday a series of measures were presented to strengthen the care of this city and manage to contain the advance of the coronavirus, fundamentally, thinking about not losing the epidemiological nexus.

The President of Uruguay Luis Lacalle Pou announced that, during the summer, the borders will remain closed due to the health emergency. “Following the reports of the Ministry of Public Health and the GACH (Honorary Scientific Advisory Group), it’s going to be a restricted summer “, assured the president in a press conference in the Executive Tower of Montevideo.

After receiving praise from all over the planet for its management in the face of the pandemic, Uruguay suffered an increase in cases in recent days and currently has 443 people who are suffering from the disease, a record number for the country.


What Germany can learn from other countries

Athens, Beijing, Salvador, Bangkok, Tokyo Support for the Federal Government’s measures against the coronavirus is high, and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity is undisputed. Also because the Germans like themselves in the role of Corona world champions, who have so far got the pandemic under control better than anyone else.

However, this picture is only partially correct. A number of countries have at least coped with certain aspects of the pandemic better than Germany. The Handelsblatt correspondents give an overview.

The number of new corona infections is also currently rising in Greece, albeit from a relatively low level: So far, 27,300 people have been infected in the country with its 10.7 million inhabitants. 534 patients have died of Covid-19. The deaths amount to 50 per million inhabitants. That is less than half of the 119 deaths per million inhabitants in Germany.

Greece mastered the first wave in spring better than most other European countries. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis listened to the experts and had contact restrictions introduced at an early stage, until the extensive lockdown on March 22nd. In terms of measures, Greece was about two weeks ahead of the other EU countries, although it had very few cases at the time.

During the pandemic, the Greeks showed a quality that is rarely trusted in the rest of Europe: discipline. The horror of overcrowded hospitals and mortuaries from neighboring Italy also contributed to this. Because the overwhelming majority of the population followed the restrictions and compliance was closely monitored by the police, the curve of nine infections flattened again at the beginning of April.

But it has been rising steeply again since August. A record was set on Wednesday with 865 reported cases. It seems that younger Greeks in particular have become more careless in recent weeks. Probably because of the good crisis management in spring, vigilance decreased in summer.

After the government issued uniform restrictions across the country in the spring, in the second wave it relies on regional and local measures as well as intensive follow-up of the new cases in order to identify and isolate sources of infection. This also serves to ensure that particularly vulnerable population groups are tested, such as migrants, nursing home workers and hospital staff. Gerd Höhler

China: nationwide tests

Coronatest in Peking

China has massively expanded its test capacities in recent months.

(Photo: dpa)

Getting tested for Corona has been an easy undertaking in China for several months. If you need a negative test, just go to the nearest hospital. In Beijing, for example, four containers are set up side by side in a large state hospital.

At the first window you give your personal data, show your passport and give the telephone number. You pay at the second window, at the third you get a number that you give to the employee at the fourth window. Open your mouth, put the chopsticks in, done. Without an appointment, without waiting. The result can be picked up the next day.

In the past few months, China has expanded its test capacities more massively than almost any other country. According to the Chinese National Health Commission and the Ministry of Industry, the number of testing institutes increased from 2081 in early March to 4804 in June. The technical staff involved in the tests increased from 13,900 in early March to 38,000 at the end of July. While 1.26 million people per day could be tested at the beginning of March, according to government figures it was 4.84 million at the end of July.

The mass tests that are carried out on new local outbreaks are also very comprehensive. Just last week, the local government in the east Chinese port city of Qingdao said it had tested more than ten million people within a few days because a few new cases had been reported.

There had previously been mass tests of this type in several other cities. To this end, the authorities usually set up thousands of temporary test stands throughout the city within a very short time. The samples are then not all tested individually, but rather pooled in groups of five or ten. Only when this test comes back positive will the group members be tested again individually to find the infected person.

Dana Heide

Uruguay: exemplary crisis management

Man with an original mask in Montevideo

With its exemplary global crisis management, Uruguay has the lowest infections and deaths in Latin America today, although the neighboring countries Argentina and Brazil are badly affected by the pandemic.

(Photo: dpa)

When the first corona infected person appeared in Uruguay on March 13 of this year, the authorities were armed: In January, the Universidad de la República in Montevideo had already started to develop its own diagnostics together with the local Pasteur Institute. Personal connections to Chinese researchers and to Europe made this possible.

When the virus came, Uruguay was ready. For the country, about half the size of Germany and with the population of Berlin, that was the salvation: Uruguay has open borders with all neighboring countries that can hardly be controlled.

President Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou’s government had been in office for just two weeks, but it was quick to react: it encouraged people to stay at home – on a voluntary basis. She also immediately started with mass tests and presented an app that Uruguayans can use to obtain information and contact authorities. The fourth version is now on the market, in which Google and Apple also contributed.

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With its exemplary global crisis management, Uruguay has the lowest infections and deaths in Latin America today, although the neighboring countries Argentina and Brazil are badly affected by the pandemic. With 2,560 infected and 51 dead, the country has a Covid death rate of 1.5 deaths per 100,000 residents, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Uruguay is particularly successful in the school system. All schools were closed for just one month from March. But as early as April, the school authorities began to gradually reopen them. First the one in the country, then the one in Montevideo. All students were present again on June 29th, around three months after the start of the pandemic – while in neighboring countries there are still no face-to-face classes.

Right from the start, pupils and teachers were connected to one another via the central education platform CREA, which was soon supplemented by efficient video conference software. Around 100,000 PCs and laptops were distributed to those in need. The telecom companies allowed data to be transferred from the platform free of charge.

Alexander Busch

Thailand: masks open and borders closed

Buddhist monks in Bangkok

Even without government coercion, the vast majority of Thai people wear mouth and nose protection.

(Photo: Polaris / laif)

It didn’t look anything but good for Thailand at first: On January 13, the authorities reported the first coronavirus case in the country. For the first time, the new disease was detected outside of China.

In view of the around one million Chinese tourists who came to Thailand every month at the time, there was great concern that the holiday country would become the next hotspot. The opposite has happened: a total of 3700 Covid-19 cases have been reported in Thailand so far – within nine months, less than a third as many as in Germany on Thursday alone.

In retrospect, it can be said that the country has done a lot right – especially its population and the private sector. Already at the beginning of the year hardly anyone took to the streets without a face mask in the capital Bangkok. This happened without government coercion, but with the support of companies: supermarket chains and shopping centers only allowed mask wearers into the shops.

While the behavior of the population has apparently prevented the first widespread wave of contagion, the government closed the border to a large extent to ensure that there was no new outbreak. Since the end of March, only Thai citizens and a few foreigners have been allowed to enter – and have to be in monitored quarantine for 14 days after arrival.

The collapse of the tourism industry is the high price Thailand is paying for pandemic response. But the positive sides are also obvious: only 59 dead, hardly any sick – and the country does not have to fear a new lockdown.

Operation in schools, factories, bars and restaurants has returned to everyday life. The willingness to wear a mask remains high. According to pollster YouGov, more than 80 percent of Thais still go outside with mouth and nose protection – almost 20 percentage points more than in Germany. Mathias Peer

Japan: land in the hygiene of society as a whole

Woman with mask at Godzilla statue in Tokyo

The authorities and companies often made hand disinfectants available even before the crisis. Wearing masks is also part of everyday life for the Japanese.

(Photo: dpa)

In quarantine, Japan may be a liberal runaway in Asia. Those who enter and have to be quarantined can still go shopping themselves. In return, the country shines in terms of overall social hygiene: Almost all Japanese voluntarily wear masks and often disinfect their hands.

For the Japanese, the step towards covering their faces was natural. Even before the pandemic, the Japanese put on masks, either to protect others from colds or to protect themselves from pollen in the event of allergies. In 2018, the population of 126 million used 5.5 billion disposable masks.

In addition, authorities and companies often made hand disinfectants available before the crisis. Because protection against infectious diseases has long been high on the priority list of the authorities in the country’s densely populated megacities. The system was coupled with a traditional test system that focused on tracing clusters.

This hygiene and the voluntary compliance with official requests for social distancing by companies and private individuals have so far been sufficient to stabilize several smaller virus waves again – even without the use of high-tech as in the equally democratic South Korea or Taiwan, which is via access to health or mobile Position data could encroach on the privacy of patients and contact persons.

There was no controversial discussion either in Japan or in the other two East Asian democracies. Barbara Zollmann, the head of the German Chamber of Commerce Abroad, gives the cross-border reason: “Measures that are seen as restrictions in Germany are perceived as security here.” Because people were concerned about their own health as well as about growth and jobs.

And those who deviate from this mass, especially in Japan, bring social pressure back into the limb. In Japan, official orders to close department stores were not legally binding, even during the emergency. But companies often responded before the state officially asked for it. Martin Koelling

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