Guatemala reached 180 confirmed cases of coronavirus on Tuesday after detecting a total of 13 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, which has already killed five people, an official source reported.
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei announced the figure of 13 new infections in the national chain and also detailed that 154 cases remain active.
According to the president, 78 percent of the total number of people infected with the coronavirus are in the central region of the country, that is, in the departments of Guatemala, Chimaltenango and Sacatepéquez.
The remaining 22 percent is scattered in the other six regions in which the Government of Giammattei has divided the country territorially to report the infections, as the authorities made the decision not to disclose the data by department (22) to supposedly avoid retaliation against those suffering from the disease.
The Guatemalan president expressed his gratitude on Tuesday “to all those who are wearing his mask” as it became mandatory by law since last Monday for the entire population.
Giammattei indicated that during the next two days the Government will distribute masks in the departments of Chimaltenango and Sacatepéquez to try to prevent the expansion of COVID-19 in the region with more cases.
The use of the mask joins other measures against the coronavirus in force in the country such as the curfew implanted on March 22, from four in the afternoon to four in the morning, and the prohibition of moving between the 22 departments of the country from April 5.
After the detection of the first case on March 13, Giammattei had also ordered on March 16 the suspension of classes and public transport, in addition to the cessation of work at the public and private level.
The president, however, backed down a day later and allowed any company that wanted to work as long as he complied with sanitary measures, notified the Ministry of the Economy and obtained private transportation for his employees.
Guatemala counts five people who died from the disease, one from another cause not related to the virus and 19 recovered from COVID-19.
According to authorities, there are also around 6,000 people quarantined as a precaution in case they carry the coronavirus and another 12,000 have already gone through the same process.
The president of the Central American nation assured last Monday that a “spike” in infections is expected this week.
Guatemala, with a population of 16 million inhabitants, has one of the poorest health systems on the continent, according to international organizations.