Dutch medical team leaves for Suriname to help combat new Covid wave
A team of Dutch healthcare workers departed for Suriname on Friday to help fight a surge of new Covid-19 infections, broadcaster NOS reported. The country has been buckling under a new wave of coronavirus infections due to a shortage of beds, medicine, personnel and vaccines.
"An anesthetist told me it's a war zone," said retired surgeon Chander Mahabier. He is part of the team of intensivists, nurses, microbiologists and technicians which departed from Schiphol on Friday afternoon. "We are going to provide the support that is missing at the moment," he said.
Suriname entered a total lockdown on Monday due to steadily rising coronavirus infection numbers. The Surinamese government described the situation as “extremely unmanageable” and indicated the highest risk level: code purple.
"I was last there two months ago and then there were hardly any infections. Now young people aged 30 and 40 are dying from Covid. In Apoera, a village of 3000 inhabitants, 20, 25 infected people have been admitted," Mahabier said.
The South American country is also troubled by the insufficient number of vaccines at its disposal. In addition to the lack of jabs, public confidence in the Covid-19 vaccines is low. Only four percent of the population has been fully vaccinated thus far
The Dutch health minister, Hugo de Jonge, previously announced that the country will send between 500 thousand and 750 thousand doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Suriname.
The first 40,000 doses are expected to be delivered next week, and 50 thousand more doses produced by Moderna could be delivered soon.