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Puerto Rican businesses to remain closed through Easter Sunday

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Puerto Rican businesses to remain closed through Easter Sunday

Puerto Ricans worry government response to coronavirus might be a ...

Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images

Puerto Rico will today announce a continuation of its measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Puerto Rico has been under curfew since March 15, when the government implemented restrictions from seven pm to five am, with threats of jail sentences and fines as expensive as $5,000 for violations. The curfew came just two days after Puerto Rico’s first case.

However, business owners are complaining that the current restrictions are too rigid and are hurting the Puerto Rican public. The ACLU has even filed a lawsuit for the first time because of COVID-19 prevention measures, declaring that the regulations are unconstitutional and violate fundamental rights.

Although the measures are some of the strictest in the United States, governments that did not act as steadily and proactively, such as Italy, were faced with uncontrollable death rates. Furthermore, Puerto Rico’s median age is 42 and almost 35% of its population is in the elevated risk category for COVID-19 at ages 55+.

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Puerto Rico’s health secretary Lorenzo Gonzalez has warned that the peak has not hit, so preventative measures should be taken. Puerto Rico in addition has one of the most generous bailout packages, allocating businesses $787 million. The package has been criticized and has been said to only work in the short term. Puerto Rico’s drastic actions will not be enough on their own and in order to truly combat the disease the territory will require both economic and health assistance from the United States.

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