Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise, in a press statement at the National Palace, revealed on Thursday the first two cases of people infected by the new coronavirus, COVID-19, in the country.
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Moise said the unidentified patients that tested positive for COVID-19 had been quarantined. He declined to release further details out of fear for their safety.
In making the announcement, Moise also decreed a curfew and declared a state of sanitary emergency in the country, which has the most fragile medical infrastructure on the American continent.
The curfew will be effective from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., as well, gatherings of more than ten people are now prohibited, and the population has been advised to maintain social distance to avoid contagions.
Moise also said he would close all airports, schools, factories and seaports.
The announcement comes just days after officials closed the border that Haiti and the Dominican Republic share on the island of Hispaniola.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and many worry the country is not equipped to handle a possible spread of coronavirus.