Polish docs fly out to US to help in the fight against coronavirus
Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary general, has praised the deployment of Polish military medical staff to the USA to assist American doctors in their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Taking to twitter, Stoltenberg said the Polish effort reflected the alliance’s spirit of collective defence.
“It is great to see military doctors from Warsaw who are going to help their colleagues in Chicago,” the secretary general tweeted.
“Allies in Nato are jointly responding to Covid-19, sharing expertise and supplies across the globe. In Nato, no ally is ever stands alone.”
The medics’ mission also drew thanks from Georgette Mosbacher, the US ambassador to Poland, who said she “would like to thank the Polish doctors who are on their way to Chicago”, adding that the “exchange in experience and between Poland and the US will enable us to fight even more effectively for the health and lives of our citizens.”
Dispatched by Warsaw’s Military Institute of Medicine the team of nine will operate at the McCormick Place Convention Centre, the largest field hospital in the city which can treat up to 2,250 patients.
Doctors from the institute have also served in the Italian region of Lombardy, which has been badly affected by the virus, and some are working with Slovenian doctors in Ljubljana.
While the deployment has prompted questions as to why Poland is sending medical staff abroad when some hospitals are experiencing acute stress owing to a large numbers of Covid-19 cases, Mariusz Błaszczak, the defence minister, said the team will gain invaluable experience.
“The primary goal is to gain the necessary experience that can be used in the treatment of patients infected with the coronavirus,” he said. “We also want to help our allies in the fight against the epidemic.”
Along with gaining experience the Polish team will also be able to pass on their know-how learnt in Italy.