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Expat Coronavirus Report

Coronavirus in Punta del Este, Uruguay

By Expat91364

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Coronavirus-in-Punta-del-Este,-Uruguay

Apr 15, 2020 Update

We Asked: What is currently happening with regard to the Coronavirus outbreak in your area? Please provide as much detail as possible. He replied...

Country is seeing very slow spread of cases but like elsewhere testing is sorely limited.

Country moved to isolate quickly and shut down non essential work. Although with the controls in place starting to see some people going back to work if they can do so safely, such as the construction industry which opened this week.

People are taking to wearing masks quite quickly in my area, no shortages except for masks and hand sanitizer which sell out but become available again fairly soon after. Zero issues with food or TP from what I have seen.

Things might be different in the Capital where most of the people live.

How People are Coping

We Asked: How are people handling the situation in your area? He replied...

People are handling it calmly. Our area which is more vacation homes is full with people who left the main city and their apartments to wait this out in a house with a garden and far less population density.

Changing Conditions as coronavirus Spreads

We Asked: How has the situation changed as the Coronavirus has spread? He replied...

After the initial explosion in cases, the number of new cases is about the same as the numbers recovering. Total deaths remains very low.

The spread in the world has however trapped some travelers we know here as flights out are hard to come by...

Government Response

We Asked: Describe how the government of the country about which you are reporting is handling this situation. He replied...

Government has been open and honest with the people. Using the Police to enforce social distancing and for example towing cars from the beach parking lots to deter people from gatherings on the beach...

No curfews or drastic measures as for the most part the people are cooperative.

Government Response with Regard to Expats

We Asked: Describe how your home country's government has handled the outbreak situation with regards to its expatriate citizens. He replied...

I think my home country has bungled the outbreak in a huge way. Zero preparation, zero stockpiling of PPE or any system to make sure those areas which need it get priority. They downplayed the seriousness or were too stupid to realize it. It has become more about politics and image then helping the population.

Supplies and Shortages

We Asked: Is there a shortage of supplies in your location? He replied...

No shortage of supplies here. Plenty of food and TP to be had. Essential services are performing well, internet is handling the increased usage well. We bought hand sanitizer when this started and haven't needed to buy more so can't speak to that.

Preparing for the Future

We Asked: What are you doing in terms of preparations in case the situation deteriorates in your location? He replied...

We don't expect it to deteriorate except that with stores closed we might not be able to buy something we need. Like my multipart USB charger died and I can't replace it so am using all the little low power chargers that came with each device. Really not a big deal.

Generally we keep a few extra supplies in the house of TP, frozen food, canned good, long life milk.

Lockdown & Passing the Time

We Asked: Are you staying home? If so, how are you passing the time? He replied...

Yes, staying home. Working on my taxes and budgets and plans for the future. Doing some house repairs and lots and lots of cooking...

Public Healthcare & Public Hospitals

We Asked: Are you enrolled in the public healthcare system where you live? Do you feel that the public hospitals are handling or preparing for the Coronavirus outbreak effectively? He replied...

I have private insurance. No sense here that the hospitals are being overwhelmed, no reports of tent hospitals being built. No sirens on the street or ambulances running around.

Private Health Insurance & Private Hospitals

We Asked: Do you have private health insurance? If you have private insurance, does this give you access to private hospitals? Are private hospitals or clinics better prepared, less prepared, or the same? Please explain. He replied...

I have private insurance and usually the private hospitals are better equipped and maintained than the public ones. Expats are not allowed to use the public hospitals and must belong to a hospital insurance system here.

Hospital of Choice for Coronavirus Treatment

We Asked: Would you choose a public or private hospital if you needed treatment for Coronavirus? Why? If there is a specific hospital that you would go to in the event of severe illness? Which hospital and why? He replied...

I would go either to the Cantegril hospital nearby or to the Hospital Brittanica in Montevideo for anything serious.

Returning Home

We Asked: Are you considering returning to your home country due to the Coronavirus? Would this be a temporary move or a permanent repatriation? Please explain. He replied...

No, I think it is safer and easier to be here and to self Isolate in our home in Uruguay than in our family home in the US in a high risk area.

How Government is Treating Expats

We Asked: How is the government of the country where you are currently living treating expats during this time? Have there been any changes or extensions made in terms of residency and and other visa renewals, applications and requirements? Has access to public healthcare been eased? Please describe any types of changes (positive and negative) that are taking place. He replied...

Have heard that UY residents may find it harder to get out now than tourists who got stuck here. If you leave now there is no coming back until this is all over.

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