- Title: Impoverished Haiti girds for coronavirus fight
- Date: 21st March 2020
- Summary: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI (MARCH 21, 2020) (REUTERS) HAITIAN HEALTH CARE WORKER IN PROTECTIVE SUIT PERSON SPRAYING VEHICLE DOOR HANDLE WORKER OPENING VEHICLE DOOR SIGN ON EXTERIOR OF THE HAITIAN PUBLIC HEALTH MINISTRY'S NATIONAL LABORATORY HAITIAN PUBLIC HEALTH MINISTRY EPIDEMIOLOGY DIRECTOR, PATRICK DELY (LEFT), NEXT TO HAITIAN PUBLIC HEALTH MINISTRY DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR, BENECHE MARTIAL (RIGHT) VARIOUS, OFFICIALS IN OFFICE (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) HAITIAN PUBLIC HEALTH MINISTRY EPIDEMIOLOGY DIRECTOR, PATRICK DELY, SAYING: "In the system we have registered two confirmed cases of coronavirus; one in the department of Oeste and the other in the department of Artibonite. It's important to emphasize that they are imported cases. They were people who were traveling. They entered the country and days later they exhibited the disease." DELY SPEAKING ON PHONE (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) HAITIAN PUBLIC HEALTH MINISTRY DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR, BENECHE MARTIAL, SAYING: "What we're seeing is that certain groups of the population want to attack the sites where suspected or confirmed cases exist. I want to take advantage of this space to ask the population to maintain their calm." HAITIAN ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST, VALERY FILS-AIME, WALKING DOWN STREET VARIOUS, FILS-AIME WASHING HIS HANDS (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) HAITIAN ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST, VALERY FILS-AIME, SAYING: "Today the situation is very worrying because among the people there is not a lot of awareness. They aren't consistent in the threat that the coronavirus represents. There are many factors that explain this, everyone does not have access to information, there is no electricity, there is no radio in some areas. The information doesn't get to those people. Those of us here in the capital where there is some infrastructure are more or less informed, (but) around me many people are not informed." FILS-AIME WALKING FILS-AIME POSTING INFORMATION
- Keywords: Haiti Port-au-Prince cases coronavirus death infection outbreak
- Reuters ID: LVA001C5ZW7D3
- Location: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI
- City: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI
- Country: Haiti
- Duration: 00:02:49
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: Haiti was, until Thursday (March 19), one of the last Caribbean nations to remain coronavirus-free, but the country's poor infrastructure is about to face a massive test from the highly contagious disease.
The country struggles to deal with serious outbreaks of disease because of a lack of sanitation infrastructure and inadequate healthcare services. One of the key recommendations for staving off coronavirus is to wash hands frequently with soap and water, but most Haitians do not have running water.
Haiti's government on Thursday declared a state of emergency over the outbreak, closing the borders of the Americas' poorest nation and imposing a curfew after authorities detected the first two cases of infection.
President Jovenel Moise said the Caribbean country's ports, airports and borders would be closed to people, though they would remain open for goods traffic. Schools, universities, places of worship and industrial parks would be closed, and a curfew would be in force from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. as of Friday (March 20).
More than half the population lives under the poverty line of $2.41 dollars per day, according to the World Bank, and the country is only just recovering from a nine-year cholera outbreak that the United Nations said killed nearly 10,000.
(Production: Robenson Sanon)
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