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Mission Brief: March 2020


April 13, 2020
Categories: In Action

The COVID-19 outbreak pushed Global Rescue into overdrive to help our members evacuate during a time when international travel restrictions were tightening on a daily basis.

The unprecedented circumstances made efforts to return travelers to their homes more challenging, but didn’t prevent Global Rescue from helping our members. Global Rescue committed its deeply experienced security and intelligence teams to use its logistical know-how, bureaucratic fluency and relentless focus to help return individuals home.

Global Rescue typically manages hundreds of operations every month. The coronavirus outbreak boosted operational activity and intensity significantly. Since February, nearly 500 operations have been completed to help return travelers home, provide medical or security evacuation and advisory – roughly 50% of the volume of activity took place in the last weeks of March.

When the coronavirus spread started, travelers and expats found themselves trapped in an escalating series of government directives and medical orders to contain the sweep of the virus. Soon, government authorities, public health officials and travel administrators restricted nearly all flights.

Our operations team were involved in medical, security and travel operations on a daily basis in more than 90 countries worldwide, including: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nassau, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St. Martin, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turks and Caicos Islands, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Virgin Islands, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uzbekistan, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

Below is a snapshot of some of our most recent operations in various locations across the world.

Argentina

Global Rescue provided medical advisory and evacuation services for a climber attempting to summit Aconcagua, the highest (22,841 feet) mountain outside of Asia. The member was suffering severe acute mountain sickness caused by rapid exposure to low amounts of oxygen at high elevation and required a helicopter evacuation.

Australia

As COVID-19 spread, students studying abroad needed to make plans quickly. Global Rescue helped numerous students figure out the best path forward, including one student stuck in Perth whose flight out was canceled. Global Rescue understood the situation and helped arrange a solution for a flight out the next day after the airlines had told the student there was a month-long wait.

Chile

The Global Rescue medical operations team provided advisory and evacuation for a member traveling in South America who suffered severe burns from boiling water. The member was transported for medical treatment including IV antibiotics and wound debridement. A day later, he was cleared to fly and returned home to North Carolina.

China

When the Wuhan province of China was locked down, Global Rescue assisted a family stuck there and helped them return to the U.S. and eventually their Midwest home. In a separate operation, the Global Rescue operations team provided nonstop advisory for a group of skiers, including an American Olympic gold medalist, helping them make it out of China as international borders were sealed.

Ivory Coast

Pandemics can sometimes cause tension. Global Rescue provided security, safety, peace of mind and repatriation advisory for a traveling member in San Pedro concerned for her safety following episodes of anti-foreigner sentiment sparked by fear outsiders spreading the virus. The member remained safe and was able to return to her home country.

Nicaragua

A member was on her way from Managua to her home in the U.S. when she was overcome by a rough bout of traveler’s diarrhea and dehydration. Global Rescue provided medical advisory including rehydration solutions, initial doses of Loperamide and a list of medical facilities near her stateside layover – including an in-airport clinic where she could check in if needed.

Vanuatu

A member from Australia was traveling in the South Pacific Ocean nation of roughly 80 islands when a severe infection in his legs required hospitalization. Global Rescue provided medical advisory and evacuation to a Brisbane-based hospital for further medical attention.

Global Rescue provides our members and clients with the world’s leading travel risk, telehealth access, crisis management, medical, security and evacuation services. Click here to learn more.


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