March 8, 2020 / 2:01 PM / a month ago

El Salvador bans visitors from Germany, France over coronavirus

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - El Salvador has banned visitors from Germany and France due to coronavirus, after previously barring visitors from Italy, South Korea and Iran, the countries with the largest outbreaks outside China.

Salvadorans and diplomats arriving from the two countries may enter but must spend 30 days in quarantine, President Nayib Bukele said on Twitter late on Saturday.

Bukele also called for stepping up checks on travellers arriving from any country that has coronavirus and for stricter sanitation measures.

“From here on out, a total cleaning of the airport and customs must be done every day,” he said.

There are now more than 106,000 coronavirus cases and more than 3,600 deaths across the world, according to a Reuters tally of government announcements. France has the fifth-highest number of coronavirus cases outside China, while Germany ranks sixth.

El Salvador has no reported cases of coronavirus, even as other nearby countries begin grappling with the disease.

On Saturday, Mexico reported seven instances of coronavirus, up from six. Costa Rica said its number of cases rose to five from one, including an American couple.

Elsewhere in the region, a patient diagnosed with coronavirus in Argentina died on Saturday, the first death related to the virus in Latin America.

Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Sonya Hepinstall

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