Update 10:22 PM:
(TELESUR) – Colombia declares total quarantine
Colombian President Ivan Duque declared a total quarantine on Friday night due to the danger posed by the new coronavirus, COVID-19.
The order will start from next Wednesday (March 25) and will be carried out for a period of 19 days.
“It is time to understand that our behavior saves lives,” Duque said, who has been criticized for not assuming the relevant policies to confront the virus.
This week, the health unions had sent a letter to Duque assuring that, given the significant increase in cases of COVID-19 in the country (158 until this Friday), it was necessary to “raise the level of isolation restrictions by a period, since it has been the most effective tool for pandemic control.”
Update 8:00 PM:
Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra announces that four people died from the new coronavirus, the number of confirmed cases increased to 263.
Chilean health minister considers it “foolish and unnecessary” to establish a total quarantine: The Chilean Health Minister, Jaime Mañalich, said this Friday that it is “foolish and unnecessary” to declare a total quarantine to fight the coronavirus, which now totals 434 cases in the country, as requested by the Government various local and regional authorities. His words have created a backlash of anger some even from government supporters.
Colombian mayor with coronavirus will be investigated for violation of measures: The Colombian Attorney General’s Office opened a preliminary investigation on Friday against the mayor of the city of Popayán (southwest), Juan Carlos López, who tested positive for COVID-19, for an alleged violation of sanitary measure and falsification of documents.
“The Attorney General’s Office acts with determination and is implacable with those who disregard the measures ordered by the health authorities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” the investigating entity explained in a statement.
Update 5:30 PM:
Brazil heading into recession due to coronavirus impacts: When the Brazilian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stuck its head out after suffering its worst recession in decades (2015 and 2016), the coronavirus pandemic frustrated the comeback. The Government cut Friday the forecasts for the largest economy in South America in 2020 drastically.
The forecast downward a week ago, from 2.40% to 2.10% this year, expired in a matter of days. Now the economic cabinet of the neoliberal Paulo Guedes foresees a scenario of stagnation, on the brink of recession (+0.02%).
Argentina says that its debt is unpayable and that COVID-19 may lengthen crisis: The Argentinian economy minister, Martín Guzmán, said this Friday that the high external debt that the country is dragging “is unpayable” and warned that the time of the economic recovery is uncertain due to the crisis of the worldwide spread of the coronavirus.
“Argentina’s current public debt is not financeable, it is excessively onerous and it is not sustainable,” Guzmán confessed.
Update: 1:45 PM
United States: the USNS Comfort is deployed to New York
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the hospital ship USNS Comfort, which has over a thousand rooms, will dock in New York Bay by a decision of President Donald Trump.
On Friday, one of the control towers at John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) closed its operations for several hours after a worker tested positive for coronavirus.
The person infected was on the premises on March 16 but did not enter the tower cabin.
“Still, as a precautionary measure, we have scheduled a cleanup of the tower cabin, equipment room, administrative offices, and elevators to ensure a safe work environment for all employees,” the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) explained.
In the state of New York, there are 7,102 Covid-19 cases, 2,950 more than Thursday. More than half of the cases, 4,408, are concentrated in New York City, where there have been almost 2,000 new cases in the past 24 hours. In total, New York State has recorded 35 deaths.