Montevideo: Cuba and Bolivia announced on Friday they were closing their borders while Brazil drastically slashed its growth projections for 2020 over the coronavirus pandemic.
Latin American countries continued to ramp up measures to contain the virus outbreak with deaths from the COVID-19 disease jumping to 33 and total cases soaring over 3,000.
In Cuba, President Miguel Diaz-Canel finally closed the borders to non-residents after long bucking a regional trend. The measure will come into effect on Tuesday and will last for 30 days. There are 60,000 tourists currently in Cuba. Cuba has seen 21 cases with one Italian tourist dying.
The Brazilian government drastically downgraded its growth projections for 2020 by 2.1 percent to practically zero (0.02 percent).
The Economy Ministry had already dropped its expectations from 2.4 percent on March 11 in an initial re-evaluation based on the impact of the deadly virus.
Brazil had only recorded 34 coronavirus cases at that time and no deaths. But the virus has accelerated since then to more than 900 cases and 11 deaths.
Bolivia announced it was closing its borders and suspending international, inter-departmental and inter-provincial transportation by land and river until the end of the month. The country has recorded only 15 coronavirus cases but is due to hold a general election on May 3.
Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard contradicted US President Donald Trump in denying that Mexico had suspended flights from Europe.
However, he acknowledged the country was studying the option adding that "there needs to be different types of restrictions." Mexico has seen 164 cases with one death.
In Columbia, President Ivan Duque submitted to a coronavirus test after coming into contact with a mayor who contracted the virus. Colombia has had 145 cases so far....