- Title: South American nations tighten borders to combat coronavirus
- Date: 16th March 2020
- Summary: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (FILE - APRIL 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SCHOOL EXTERIORS
- Embargoed: 30th March 2020 05:52
- Keywords: Argentina Bolivia Chile Colombia Coronavirus Latam Peru Venezuela borders close measures ports
- Location: BUENOS AIRES AND OLIVOS, BUENOS AIRES PROVINCE, ARGENTINA / LIMA, PERU / SANTIAGO, CHILE / LA PAZ, BOLIVIA / CARACAS, VENEZUELA / BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- City: BUENOS AIRES AND OLIVOS, BUENOS AIRES PROVINCE, ARGENTINA / LIMA, PERU / SANTIAGO, CHILE / LA PAZ, BOLIVIA / CARACAS, VENEZUELA / BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- Country: Argentina
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA003C5AX35Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Nations in South America on Sunday (March 15) ramped up measures to contain coronavirus, with the leaders of Argentina and Peru announcing border closures on Sunday to curb the infection.
Argentina will close its borders for 15 days to non-residents, President Alberto Fernandez said in a televised press conference. Public and private school classes would also be suspended until March 31, Fernandez said. National parks would be closed.
A day earlier, Argentina published a decree establishing a 30-day ban on entry to non-residents who have traveled to a country highly affected by coronavirus in the last 14 days.
The country has also temporarily stopped issuing visas to travelers from the United States, China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Britain and many European countries.
Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra said later on Sunday that Peru would also close its borders, suspending air and sea transport. He called on citizens to self-quarantine for 15 days to help slow the infection.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said he was considering issuing a state of emergency. All classes were suspended for two weeks and all ports closed to tourist cruises.
Bolivia's Interim President, Jeanine Anez, banned flights from Europe, China, South Korea, Italy and Spain and also suspended classes with more controls at the border.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday ordered businesses to close and citizens to remain in their homes in a "social quarantine" affecting six states and the capital, Caracas, starting on Monday to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Venezuela has confirmed 17 cases of the virus and no deaths, but the decay of its public health system after years of economic crisis has raised alarm about whether Maduro's government is in a position to control its spread.
Colombia will block entry to travelers who are not residents or citizens and will close schools and universities from Monday in a bid to control the outbreak of coronavirus, President Ivan Duque said on Sunday.
Colombian citizens and foreign residents who arrive from March 16 will be required to perform an obligatory 14-day period of self-isolation, Duque said on Twitter, while educators will start planning for students to study at home.
(Production: Horacio Soria, Carlos Valdez, Esteban Medel, Monica Machicao, Efrain Otero, Herbert Villarraga, Javier Andres Rojas, Geraldine Downer)
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