Argentina, a country that faced war with the United Kingdom for the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, on Monday offered aid to the inhabitants of that archipelago due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The offer of assistance was made by the secretary of the Malvinas, Antarctica and South Atlantic of the Argentine Chancellery, Daniel Filmus, in a conversation with the ambassador of the United Kingdom in Buenos Aires, Mark Kent.
According to the Argentine Foreign Ministry, Filmus transmitted to the diplomatic representative Argentina’s “willingness” to “collaborate” with the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands “as a result of the situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”
The archipelago, inhabited by some 3,500 people, is located in the South Atlantic, 13,000 kilometers away from the United Kingdom and some 700 kilometers from the Argentine mainland.
The offer of aid is unprecedented since the war dispute that in 1982 faced the United Kingdom with Argentina, a country that upholds its historic claim to sovereignty over the islands.
“I have conveyed to Ambassador Kent the message from (Argentine) Foreign Minister Felipe Solá that, in such difficult times, solidarity must be the way to overcome the situation caused by the coronavirus,” said Filmus.
In his communication with the British ambassador, Filmus mentioned the possibility of collaborating with the islanders by sending fresh food, medical supplies, or tests to detect COVID-19.
He also offered to arrange the means to carry out “the necessary humanitarian flights and places of care in medical centers on the Argentine mainland.”
In the latest report published on its website, the islands’ local government said last Friday that while no coronavirus cases had been confirmed in the Falklands, it was “likely” that the disease had already reached there.
In the report, the islands’ chief medical officer, Rebecca Edwards, said “it would be ideal to confirm positive cases through laboratory tests,” but noted the delays in obtaining the results of tests sent to the UK, which was add “air link disruptions”.
Edwards indicated that in the archipelago there are “a number of people who are already isolating themselves”, “along with small groups of developing cases”, for which it is considered that “it is probable that some of these cases are COVID-19”. Therefore, he said that action measures will be taken “according to this probability.”
Malvinas has oil and fishing farms and also lives on tourism, with an important flow of cruises.