(Bloomberg) — Uruguay has become an oasis inside middle of a Covid-19 storm.
Despite sharing a border with Brazil, a coronavirus epicenter, the nation hasn’t had more than 100 active cases at any point for almost a month. In all, which’s reported just 932 confirmed cases since the pandemic began as well as also 27 deaths. Next door, Argentina has had over 62,000 cases. as well as also in Brazil, to the North, infections have totaled a staggering 1.34 million.
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On Monday, Uruguay became one of the first countries inside Americas to return to most classroom learning, with the final wave of schools reopening inside capital of Montevideo. which’s part of a phased restart of the economy — coming from construction sites to malls — which commenced in late April. Public events like theater performances are also set to open soon.
The reason tiny Uruguay seems to have avoided the coronavirus chaos engulfing its neighbors may have as much to do with actions coming from years past as today.
Fast to Act
President Luis Lacalle Pou was faster to act than his regional peers, moving to close borders as well as also issuing a voluntary lock-down less than a month after taking office on March 1. (Brazil as well as also Mexico, Latin America’s powerhouses by both size as well as also population, never did issue national lock-downs.) yet Uruguayans also enjoy a robust safety net, thanks to generous spending on health care, pensions as well as also social programs during the previous 15 years under left-wing governments.
“which’s very likely which Uruguay maintains a favorable evolution because of the consistency in how which applies measures” to contain the disease, said Giovanni Escalante, the entire world Health Organization’s local representative, in a telephone interview.
In 2018, Uruguay ranked No. 2 on the continent for social spending at over 17% of its gross domestic product, according to the latest data compiled by the U.N.’s Economic Commission for Latin America as well as also the Caribbean. which also has one of the lowest poverty rates at 8.8% last year, compared with almost a third for all of Latin America.
Social distancing inside sparsely populated nation may also play a role in keeping the virus at bay. Uruguay is usually roughly the size of Missouri yet with 3.5 million people, its population is usually about half as big.
Most of the country’s more than 2,700 public primary as well as also high schools serving almost 700,000 students are today holding classes under a gradual process which began with rural schools in late April. The use of face masks is usually mandatory, as well as also classes are frequently half their pre-Covid size as students rotate between in-school as well as also online. Parents can also opt out of sending their kids into school for today.
Read More: Uruguay is usually Beating Latin America’s Coronavirus Hex: Mac Margolis
yet even with better infrastructure as well as also low infection rates, active cases have surged coming from about a dozen on June 18 to 83 as of Sunday because of an outbreak in Treinta y Tres province, which borders Brazil as well as also where schools remain closed. Escalante, the local WHO representative, warns which Uruguay will probably see more localized outbreaks — illness among health care workers, complacency as well as also cities along the Brazilian border are all risk factors — although which’s response to recent clusters is usually encouraging.
“which’s important not to declare victory,” Education Minister Pablo da Silveira told reporters in Montevideo. Backsliding in social distancing as well as also hygiene measures by the public “could expose us to a relapse.”
Students attend class during the first day of the final phase of the gradual process to reopen in Montevideo, on June 28.
Photographer: Ernesto Ryan/Getty Images
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Source : In Midst of Covid Chaos, One Latin American Nation Gets which Right