ASUNCION (Reuters) - The fast spread of the coronavirus in Brazil represents “a great threat” to Paraguay, which has managed to contain the advance of the pandemic over the last two months with a strict lockdown, President Mario Abdo said on Friday.
More than half of the 563 cases registered in Paraguay are among people who entered the country from Brazil, according to health ministry data. Most people with the disease in Paraguay are quarantined in shelters guarded by the military.
Paraguayan authorities have been alarmed by the fast spread of the disease over recent days. Brazil and Paraguay share a normally loosely-controlled 400-km (250-mile) long border.
“Brazil is perhaps today the place with the fasted expansion of the coronavirus in the world, and that is a great threat to our country,” Abdo told journalists during a tour of southern Paraguay.
“I have already reinforced and militarised the most vulnerable parts of the border,” he said.
Brazil’s Health Ministry on Thursday registered 9,888 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 610 related deaths. That brought the total of confirmed cases in Brazil to 135,106 and deaths to 9,146, the most deadly outbreak in an emerging market nation.
Reporting by Daniela Desantis, writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Marguerita Choy