Honduras has declared a state emergency in response to a coronavirus outbreak, prompting President Juan Orlando Hernández to issue an emergency decree to establish emergency protocols to protect the health of the countrys 1.4 million people.
Honduras, which has about 300,000 people, is the epicenter of the outbreak, with more than 2,000 cases confirmed and nearly 2,500 deaths.
The announcement of the emergency measures comes as Hernacys cabinet has been preparing for a nationwide coronaviravirus alert to begin at midnight Tuesday, with the country’s health ministry announcing that there would be an immediate surge in cases and deaths.
President Hernás Maduro has ordered that the state will suspend public health services and order the use of public health measures.
The government has been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks, with news outlets reporting that the government had been trying to manipulate the outbreak to justify a nationwide emergency, but that no evidence has been found to support such a plan.
More than 80 people were killed and nearly 10,000 were sickened in the crisis, according to the latest figures from the national health ministry.
Hernandez, who took office in June, has blamed the outbreak on a military takeover, alleging that security forces were involved in killing and torturing civilians, while the United States and other governments have blamed it on drug traffickers.
President Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras, center, speaks during a news conference in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Oct. 10, 2017.
Erika Portela/ReutersThe situation has led to a major uptick in deaths in the country, with officials saying there have been nearly 400 confirmed cases and 7,000 deaths.
More deaths are expected on Thursday, with at least 11 more people still being monitored in hospitals and hospitals reported to be at risk for a surge in infections, according a report by the Associated Press news agency.
The outbreak is the worst in Honduras since the country erupted into civil war in the 1980s.
President Rodrigo Hernán Parrón said the outbreak has already killed more than 100,000 and that the virus is “the deadliest in the history of the world.”
The government said on Friday that at least 1,734 people have died from the virus, with 3,637 confirmed and 6,919 suspected cases.
Hernántez has vowed to keep up pressure on the cartels and says the country is now on track to complete the countrywide coronaviral alert that he initiated earlier this month.
In a televised address on Thursday night, Hernay called on his government to “take all necessary measures” to contain the virus and said he would continue to “fight it by all means possible.”
The Associated Press