Puerto Rico Gov Expected to Extend Coronavirus Curfew
SAN JUAN — Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced hinted that she would announce Thursday afternoon the extension of the executive order OE-2020-o23 she implemented on March 15 to establish a curfew and close nonessential facilities as a measure to the control the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“I believe the lockdown is necessary, it has been an alternative that has protected the people from community contamination. If that is the alternative, we are going to discuss it this morning and I will be informing the people in the afternoon today,” Vázquez said in a WKAQ radio interview.
“It was expected that all these cases would arise, but [with] this [social distancing] campaign, this rise should go down. So the measure that was taken was the correct measure, it is the recommended measure. Hopefully, we can keep the contagion in check. I will have that recommendation today and at some point, we will notify the decision,” she added.
Several members of the medical task force have said they would recommend the extension of the curfew for an additional two weeks, given that Puerto Rico is already in the community spread phase.
The most recent results announced by the Department of Health are 64 positive cases and 377 negative results. The results of another 335 tests are expected and two deaths have been recorded.
The governor said that if anyone has COVID-19-like symptoms—such as dry cough, fever, difficulty breathing— to call 787-999-6202 to coordinate a sample collection where the patient is sheltering in place.
“This way, we are going to reach the largest number of citizens until we begin to do the rapid tests, which must be close to arriving in Puerto Rico, which is an initial screening that we are going to do for all citizens,” she added.
The governor spoke in a special program broadcast on WIPR, where she stressed it was everyone’s responsibility to follow the social distancing measures. A press conference about the executive order is slated for 4:45 p.m. from her official residence, La Fortaleza.
The governor said her message would “include some aspects that were not included in the past executive order,” as well as other recommendations.
“If we can continue that measure…,” she said, despite “everything” having “economic consequences.”
—Caribbean Business contributed to this report.