Montevideo, Sep 7 (EFE).- About 250 crewmembers from foreign fishing vessels currently in Uruguayan waters were inoculated with the first dose of an anti-Covid vaccine in the port of Montevideo on Tuesday.
“It seems to me that this is one more sign of Uruguay’s humanity to vaccinate these populations that are at risk, who then will be on board ship for 30 days, who don’t have much (medical) help and who, if they do need it, have to get it via special operations,” said Public Health Minister Daniel Salinas, who was on hand for the vaccinations.
A total of 246 Norwegians, Vietnamese, South Korean, Filipino, Indonesian and Chinese fishing crewmembers were inoculated, according to figures provided by the Agents of Foreign Fishermen’s Chamber (CAPE).
The fishing crews were taken by bus to the port’s main terminal, where they signed consent forms and then were vaccinated with the first dose of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.
Salinas said that in this way the requirements set forth by the ambassadors of South Korea and China for the operation were fulfilled.
“It seems to us that it’s a humanitarian act and a gesture of solidarity for those crewmembers on foreign fishing boats operating in (Uruguayan) waters,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, the president of the National Ports Administration, Juan Curbelo, said that the move was “very important” for the terminal and acknowledged the work undertaken jointly by the ministry and CAPE.
“It’s along the lines of what we’ve intended and we’ve suggested that it has to do with the position of the port of Montevideo in the region,” he said.
Curbelo also emphasized the terminal as a “port showing solidarity” and one that provides absolutely prioritized services.
Finally, South Korean Ambassador to Uruguay Eun-chul Lee, who was also at the site for the inoculations, highlighted the operation in remarks to the press.
“In the end, we’re conducting these vaccination operations thanks to the great support of the Uruguayan government. I am very grateful to the minister and the Uruguayan government,” he said.