October 30, 2020

Quarantines and curfews spread across America to stop COVID-19

Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and El Salvador have been the first countries in the Americas to enact a national quarantine in order for their entire population to remain isolated and to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

This measure, which had already been adopted in several European countries due to the expansion of COVID-19, was also taken in some areas of the United States. and partially in Argentina and Colombia, while Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru imposed curfews for the same purpose.

In addition to the isolation of travelers from Europe or China, these nations or some of their regions resorted to total or partial confinement, with the aim of curbing the disease, of which there are already hundreds of confirmed cases in Latin America and more than seven thousand in the USA.

“Any action taken will always be insufficient. But in this case we believe that the quarantine should be absolute, it is all or nothing,” Paraguayan Hernán Rodríguez, an expert from the Pan American Infectious Diseases Association, told Efe on Wednesday, reviewing the measures. taken on the mainland.


With millions of children already without class and the order to close bars and restaurants in much of the country, mayors and governors of the United States. They are imitating the measures taken in Spain and Italy, where they finally ended in almost general confinement.

Six counties in the San Francisco Bay area (California), with 6.6 million inhabitants, imposed house confinement and the closure of all non-essential businesses. A measure that New York City is already studying.

The state of New Jersey, a neighbor to New York, also took isolation measures in some of its municipalities, and even in Hoboken, a night curfew was ordered as well as the closure of non-essential businesses, such as bars and gyms.

Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has insisted that a “dramatic decrease” in personal interaction is needed to decrease the rate of contagion after confirming more than 7,000 cases and 115 deaths in the country.


Venezuela surprised the world last Tuesday when it implemented a “total quarantine”, despite the fact that there was not much data on the progress of the coronavirus in the country.

The measure, announced the previous day by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, aims to isolate the country from “the most serious situation Venezuela has ever faced before.”

Peru also decreed a national state of emergency for 15 days, which includes the total closure of the borders and orders the “immobilization of citizenship”, that is, “compulsory social isolation”, and from this Wednesday the it stays overnight.

El Salvador was the first country to declare national quarantine on the continent on March 11, despite having no cases. The government insists the population to stay at home, although the measure is not mandatory.

In Ecuador, President Lenín Moreno decreed a state of emergency throughout the country on Monday, which represents an almost quarantine that restricts movements, with the population at home and the possibility of being fined if they are on public roads. .


In addition to Peru, where private vehicles will also be banned nationally from Thursday, Paraguay and Ecuador imposed restrictions on night mobility, which have turned their main cities into “ghost cities”.

One of the most recent decisions was taken by Bolivia when decreeing this Tuesday the “national sanitary emergency and quarantine”, by which the population is ordered to be at home from 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. the following day until the 31st. of March.

The measure in Paraguay, which will be responsible for enforcing the Police and the military, restricts night movement, except for those who can justify their presence on the streets at night.


Colombian President Iván Duque has ordered the compulsory isolation of those over 70 for the time being from March 20 to May 30, stressing that “they may be the victims most affected by the coronavirus” in the country, where they add almost a hundred cases.

Argentina also maintains for the moment a quarantine for certain groups -such as those over 60 years old, pregnant women, returnees from affected areas and people with risky diseases-, although the province of Chaco (north) and southern Tierra del Fuego dictated on their own. “compulsory home isolation”.

And in El Salvador, employees over 60 years of age and pregnant women were ordered to remain isolated in their homes.


In anticipation of having to impose a confinement, Chile decreed a state of emergency this Wednesday, which will allow it to restrict meetings in public spaces, limit traffic or establish quarantines or curfews.

While in the Dominican Republic and Panama the suspension of commercial activities was ordered, with the exception of supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies.

In Guatemala, labor, public and private activities were canceled until March 31 with the aim of keeping the population at home.

And in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, a mandatory isolation drill will be held from March 20 to 23.

Amid the progress of the restrictions, Nicaragua, which has not yet reported any cases, continues to be criticized for its passivity in the face of the pandemic, while Brazil and Mexico have ordered measures but, at the same time, have reduced the size of their impact.


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