March 26, 2020 / 12:26 AM / 2 months ago

Bolivia extends closure of borders, declares health emergency for coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: A man puts an offering to the Pachamama or mother earth to demand the end of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the border El Alto outskirts of La Paz, Bolivia March 24, 2020. REUTERS/David Mercado/File Photo

LA PAZ (Reuters) - Bolivia declared a national health emergency and extended its border lockdown on Wednesday, as the government seeks to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Interim President Jeanine Anez said in a public address that the border closure was extended to April 15 from March 31 previously. Anez said no one will be able to enter or exit Bolivia during that time.

Bolivia, which was already under a 14-day national quarantine, also tightened restrictions on movement, permitting only one person per household to go out between the hours of 7 am and noon on weekdays.

“In recent days, non-compliance with the quarantine has increased the risk of contagion,” Anez said, adding that the armed forces and national police would become more involved in enforcing the quarantine.

Bolivia has 38 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to government data.

Reporting by Daniel Ramos; writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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