Uruguay suspends public services and classes after discharge in cases of covid

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The president of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, ordered the closure of public offices and the total suspension of face-to-face classes until April 12, among other measures, aimed at “reducing mobility” to contain the strong escalation of covid-19 infections. The South American country, which came to be considered an example in the region at the beginning of the pandemic, adopted the most restrictive measures after the discovery of the Brazilian variant in the country. As part of the package are the closure of all public services, except the essential ones ; the suspension of face-to-face classes and public shows; closure of gyms and shops on the border, as well as the suspension of parties and social events. “We have taken measures to reduce mobility,” informed the president at a news conference, after meeting for several hours with his office. 22, 2,682 new cases were registered in the country and 19 deaths, the highest numbers since the declaration of the health emergency in March 2020. With the increase, scientific and academic communities and even the opposition and government supporters began to demand more restrictive measures to contain the infections. “We have a very powerful strain in the capacity of penetration and contagion: it infects 2.5 times more than the other”, explained the president. “And we live in a complex situation in the health system, mainly by putting pressure on the ICUs”. To avoid the health collapse, the president also informed that 129 intensive care beds will be added and more respirators will be acquired. In the economic sphere, Lacalle Pou said that the value of social assistance received by almost half a million Uruguayans through different programs , will double in two months. In addition, the special tax on high salaries of civil servants will be reinstated for the same period. The collection of the tax, which was already implemented in 2020, “will go to activities hampered by reduced mobility.” “We are not in favor of total confinement or mandatory quarantine,” he said, stressing once again the concept of responsible freedom of Although vaccination is advancing rapidly – in 23 days, 10% of the population has already received the first dose – since February, the daily numbers of cases and deaths have kept breaking records. The absolute numbers, however, remain low: the country of 3.4 million inhabitants has registered 84,212 infections and 827 deaths from covid-19 so far.

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