- The measure announced by the US President, which exempts the United Kingdom and which the President says will not affect trade, will take effect from midnight on Friday.
- In addition to the travel ban The NBA season in the USA has been cancelled until further notice
- New York City cancelled the St. Patrick’s Day Parade for the first time in its 258-year history
The upgrading of the coronavirus to the status of a pandemic by the WHO has led to extreme measures being announced by Donald Trump in America, where the President has suspended all travel from Europe, apart from the United Kingdom, and other countries declared to be in quarantine, as well as the closure of educational centres and the cancellation of all large scale events.
We will be suspending all travel from Europe, except the United Kingdom, for the next 30 days. The policy goes into effect Friday at midnight. pic.twitter.com/Yeq1gVCIln
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 12, 2020
Trump announced the measures at midnight stating that all trips from Europe to the United States, with the exception of the United Kingdom, are suspended for at least 30 days to “prevent new cases (of the disease) from entering American borders”, part of several “strong, but necessary measures”.
In its report on Wednesday, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said that at least 1,192 cases and more than 30 deaths have now been reported in the USA.
Indeed America has reported more than a thousand new cases, currently the largest number of new cases from any country in the world, where it is now present in almost 40 of the 50 states of the country and, according to local data, has left 37 dead, most of them in Washington state. (29).
PAHO data also reports deaths in Argentina (1), Canada (1) and Panama (1) as well as the first two patients in Honduras, where President Juan Orlando Hernández called on Wednesday for the public to act “with responsibility” to avoid the spread of the disease.
After also reporting the first two infections, the Bolivian government also declared a “national emergency” to facilitate the use of state resources in actions against the virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that Coronavirus should now be defined as a “pandemic”, after the number of cases outside China multiplied 13 times over in the last two weeks and the number of affected countries tripled.
According to the agency, there are now more than 118,000 cases of coronavirus in 114 countries with the number of deaths is recorded as 4,291.
Trump is not the first to exclude travellers from Europe as cases increase with several other countries, such as El Salvador, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Guatemala, already imposing quarantine on travellers from Europe or China.
One of the strictest measures was taken by the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, who declared the entire country in quarantine on Wednesday and prohibited the entry of foreigners for 21 days, as well as the gathering of crowds of more than 500 people such as concerts and football matches.
A similar decision was made in Guatemala, where there is no confirmed case and as a preventive action all travellers arriving in the country from Europe by air will be quarantined.
Chile, where there are 23 confirmed cases, demanded that travellers who enter from Spain and Italy, even if they are Chilean citizens, remain isolated for at least two weeks.
The Governments of Argentina, Colombia and Peru also included travellers from France, where the infection has seen one of the greatest spikes experienced in Europe.
In Colombia, where it was reported that infections rose from 3 to 9, travellers arriving from France, Spain, Italy or China should also enter into “self-isolation in their homes for 14 days.”
Meanwhile, Argentina, which reports 21 cases and one death from the disease, ordered that citizens arriving from nations with high circulation of coronaviruses go into quarantine.
This isolation will also include footballers who play at foreign clubs in whose countries the coronavirus exists and who are selected to the national team.
The pandemic declaration also triggered the cancellation or modification of many world events planned to be held in the USA including a meeting of the G7, the E3 fair, the US professional basketball league. (NBA) and the Ice Skating World Championships in Montreal (Canada). The National election due to be held in November in Paraguay have also been postponed.
The G7 foreign ministers, which brings together the world’s most developed economies, announced that they will hold their next scheduled meeting, due to take place this month in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, virtually.
The E3 fair, the most important International event for the video game industry, will not hold its 2020 edition, which was due to take place in June in Los Angeles (USA).
American sport was also seriously affected with the NBA announcing the temporary cancellation of all its games, starting Thursday, after the French centre Rudy Gobert, of the Utah Jazz, had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Likewise, New York City cancelled the St. Patrick’s Day Parade scheduled for next week, for the first time in its 258-year history, and the Panama International Performing Arts Festival, scheduled for this month, was also postponed for a date to be defined.
It was confirmed on Tuesday that the Coachella music festival, one of the most important in the world, will not hold its next edition in April as a precaution, postponing it to October, while the SXSW festival in Austin (Texas) and the Ultra Music Festival in Miami (Florida) were also cancelled.
The UN reported that it will postpone several conferences planned in New York for the next few weeks due to the virus, which is also forcing the limitation of certain regular activities at the organization’s headquarters.
The issue led the United Nations Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture to suspend its current visit to Argentina and postpone future activities in other countries.
Also in Argentina, the Government announced the suspension of all international sporting events scheduled for March, such as the Fencing World Cup, the Athletics Grand Prix, the American Pre-Olympic Boxing Championship and the South American Swimming Championship, although the measure does not yet cover football matches.
The same decision was made with the Ice Skating World Championships, which were to be held in Montreal (Canada) from March 16 to 22.
Amid uncertainty about the impact of the disease, the stock markets continue to collapse across the world while on the currency markets the dollar remains at record levels.
Wall Street fell again on Wednesday and its main indicator, the Dow Jones Industrials, closed with losses of 5.86%; while in Latin America, Sao Paulo, the largest market in the region, fell by 7.64%, the Plaza de Buenos Aires fell 4.30% and the Mexican group lost 2.24 “.