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Category Archives: Caribbean

When Can We Return To The Caribbean? – Forbes

Posted: May 19, 2020 at 5:55 pm

BOM Villa, St. Barths.

Tourism is the lifeblood of the Caribbean but the coronavirus pandemic has sealed off the region and it remains off limits to travelers. The good news is that lockdown in the islands has resulted in relatively few cases of COVID-19.

The Caribbean islands reacted early and swiftly to the crisis, they are used to hurricanes and I think that helped, says Thom Dunaway, CEO of WheretoStay.com, which has been renting villas in the Caribbean since 1995. Consequently islands like Turks &Caicos, St John, USVI, and Anguilla have had less than a dozen cases.

Reopening is still very much up in the air and dependent on the government restrictions on each island. Even so, Dunaway offers some predictions for summer travel.

Some people will start arriving on certain islands in June as long as flights carrying leisure travelers are welcome, Dunaway speculates. We anticipate more of a surge in July, and by August we fully intend to be quite busy with arriving guests. Again, this is all dependent on the success of the gradual reopening of the US economy without further spikes in COVID-19 cases resulting in a return to restrictions.

Indeed on May 18, the island of Saint Lucia announced the first phase of its reopening for tourism, starting June 4. On that day, Phase One of the reopening includes welcoming international flights at Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) from the United States only. Visitors will be required to present certified proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of boarding their flight.Upon arrival in Saint Lucia, all travelers must continue the use of face masks and physical distancing and are subject to screening and temperature checks by port health authorities.

Hawksbill, Turks and Caicos

On Saint Lucia, as on other Caribbean islands, villa rentals are likely to be in great demand once travel is allowed to slowly resume.

We have had requests each day all through April, with many people ready to travel the first day the travel restrictions are lifted, airports reopen and flights are Caribbean bound, Dunaway says. There are many Americans that have the 'I'm coming unless they stop me attitude.

Villas offer space for families, private grounds and typically come with a pool. They offer a controlled environment where its much easier to practice social distancing from neighbors.

The added benefit of private homes being separate from, let's face it, other people, makes it the sensible choice for many who want to travel once its possible, Dunaway says. We anticipate the flood gates will open with many people more than ready and willing to head to the Caribbean.

Nevaeh Villa, Anguilla

He points out that his villa management teams on the islands are predominantly locals who are still residing on the island.

Hotels have had to furlough many international staff who have returned to their home countries, Dunaway notes. This makes ramping up hotels a much slower process as they have to entice staff to return. Our villas on every island are essentially ready and waiting.

Ramping up cleaning and social distancing policies at each property is critical, Dunaway notes. As an example, he cites the new policies of one of their property managers in St Martin, from mask-wearing to cleaning all surfaces with hospital-grade disinfectants. Handles and ramps will be cleaned with disinfecting wipes and automatic hand sanitizing dispensers will be installed in the laundry and the kitchen. The detergents for the washing machines and for the dishwashers will be hospital-grade disinfectants. Housekeepers will be equipped with masks and gloves and A/C filters will be regularly cleaned and disinfected. A total disinfection of the property can be done upon request prior to the guests arrival at an extra cost.

WheretoStay.com has begun rolling out a series of deals and enticements to return, once travelers are given the green light. There are some properties that are discounting their rates up to 30% for the rest of 2020 and some through 2021. Other properties are offering a more flexible payment plans with final payments closer to time of travel. In addition, there are other properties that have come up with flexible cancellation and re-scheduling options.

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When Can We Return To The Caribbean? - Forbes

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Outlook into the Latin America and the Caribbean Furniture Market to 2021 – ResearchAndMarkets.com – Business Wire

Posted: at 5:55 pm

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The "Furniture Outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

The total furniture market size in Latin America and the Caribbean currently exceeds USD 16 billion. The largest 5 markets are Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia.

Aim of this report is to provide a background analysis of the furniture market in Latin America and the Caribbean (28 considered countries) through a rich collection of key figures that include 2019 preliminary estimates of furniture basic data (production, consumption, imports, exports) by country and by geographical area, main trading partners, major urban markets for furniture in the area and furniture market forecasts up to 2021 by country.

For each of the 28 considered countries, the study provides a summary data table including:

Geographical area included:

Key Topics Covered:

PART I - OVERVIEW OF THE FURNITURE SECTOR IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

INTRODUCTION

THE FURNITURE MARKET IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

MAJOR URBAN MARKETS FOR FURNITURE IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

FURNITURE IMPORTS

FURNITURE PRODUCTION

THE OUTLOOK FOR FURNITURE CONSUMPTION

PART II - FURNITURE INDICATORS

FURNITURE TRADE. EXPORTS AND IMPORTS

COUNTRY TABLES

APPENDIX - NOTES, PRESENTATION CONVENTIONS, CLASSIFICATION OF COUNTRIES

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/4zveos

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Outlook into the Latin America and the Caribbean Furniture Market to 2021 - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Business Wire

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Latin America & The Caribbean – Weekly Situation Update (11-17 May 2020) As of 18 May 2020 – World – ReliefWeb

Posted: at 5:55 pm

KEY FIGURES

510.2K CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES IN LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN AS OF 18 MAY

REGIONAL: COVID-19

Cases are referenced from PAHO/WHO 18 May COVID-19 Report - https://bit.ly/3fDCwwK

As of 18 May, PAHO/WHO report 510,261 cases and 28,734 deaths across Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as 205,048 recovered cases.

KEY FIGURES

$137.1M REQUIRED FOR EL SALVADOR HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE PLAN

8.3M CENTRAL AMERICAN JOBS PROJECTED TO BE LOST TO THE PANDEMIC

CENTRAL AMERICA & MEXICO: COVID-19

EL SALVADOR

The UN in El Salvador launched their multi-sector COVID-19 Humanitarian Response Plan on 16 May. The plan requires US$137.1 million to reach some 1.7 million people and will focus on:

Direct health response for prevention, containment and health system support.

Humanitarian response to aggravated needs including food assistance and livelihood recovery.

Socio-economic response to lay the groundwork for medium- and longterm recovery.

MEXICO

Health officials reported on 11 May that some 8,500 hospital staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, just under a quarter of the entire national caseload. Officials acknowledge that both the number of infected medical staff and the total caseload are likely higher, estimating that there may be as many as 15,000 infected healthcare staff. The death toll for medical personnel has reached 111.

LIVELIHOODS AT RISK

The Central American Integration System (SICA) estimates that the pandemic has led to a second quarter loss of about 10.5 per cent of working hours across Central America, roughly equivalent to 8.3 million jobs.

SICA reports they are working with ILO and UNDRR to strengthen business recovery actions, noting that small and medium businesses account for about 55 per cent of livelihoods in the region.

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Latin America & The Caribbean - Weekly Situation Update (11-17 May 2020) As of 18 May 2020 - World - ReliefWeb

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Joint statement by the heads of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, the Caribbean Community, and the Pacific Islands Forum…

Posted: at 5:55 pm

The global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impact on the entire world population requires the global community to work together to address the consequences to human health and disruptive effects on an interconnected world economy. The devastating COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping our world and exacerbating inequalities in our societies. Together, we must ensure coordinated and inclusive response and recovery efforts, to build economies and societies that are healthy, equitable, safe, clean, and resilient.

The Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), the Secretariat of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) extend their solidarity to the global community, particularly in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions, in our collective and resolute fight against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic the invisible enemy of humanity.

During this challenging time, it is vital to promote increased coordination among all countries and regions with respect to the prevention and treatment of, and eventual cure for COVID-19. We echo the United Nations (UN) Secretary-Generals call for an immediate global ceasefire to reinforce diplomatic action, enable the delivery of lifesaving humanitarian assistance, and protect the persons who are most vulnerable to the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative effect on all economies in the world, particularly in terms of commodity prices, fiscal revenues, foreign exchange receipts, foreign financial flows, food supply chains, travel restrictions, the travel, hotel and tourism industries, and labour markets. We recognize that these economic and social challenges are likely to be more disastrous in developing countries. We are gravely concerned about the potentially dire consequences to the economies and livelihoods of our Member States.

While welcoming the recent decision of international creditors such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to provide debt relief to low income countries, we call for this relief to include the most vulnerable economies in the world, including our Member States.

The COVID-19 crisis is stretching the already challenged health systems in many of our countries, which also lack the required medical equipment, test kits, and protective gear that are in high demand worldwide and difficult to source. It is expected that COVID-19 cases will overwhelm health facilities. This will adversely affect patients with high-burden communicable and non-communicable diseases, who will lack access to adequate care. This could result in increased morbidity and mortality. We note with concern that social protection issues are emerging as a result of COVID-19, particularly for the most vulnerable in our communities. We call for global COVID-19 recovery efforts that build health infrastructure and systems, as well as social protection measures, to ensure equitable and inclusive access for all.

We acknowledge the potentially dire consequences to the economies and livelihoods of our Member States, and the exacerbation of inequalities in our societies. Determined to protect the lives and livelihoods of our people, we also call on our development partners and relevant multilateral organisations the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations (UN), the World Bank Group (WBG), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the World Health Organization (WHO) to put in place the needed short, medium, and long-term emergency response programmes, in coordination with our regional institutions, to assist developing countries to address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We urge our development partners to collaborate expeditiously by reviewing any unnecessary bureaucracy to facilitate movement of health professionals, essential cargo, and emergency medical supplies to the affected communities in our regions.

We recognise that while COVID-19 is the most urgent threat facing humanity today, climate change remains the greatest threat in the longer term. We also call on all countries to ensure that the economic recovery measures to tackle COVID-19 align with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The transboundary nature of this pandemic reinforces the importance of multilateralism to address our common challenges.

In light of this ongoing crisis and the disproportionate socio-economic effects on countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, we resolve, on behalf of the organisations listed below, to coordinate our efforts and pool available resources, in order to aid our respective Member States to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

H.E. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, Secretary-General of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS)

H.E. Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Caribbean Forum of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM).

H.E. Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS)

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Joint statement by the heads of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, the Caribbean Community, and the Pacific Islands Forum...

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Esri and IDB Offer Solution to Combat COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean – Geospatial World

Posted: at 5:55 pm

Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, announced that it has partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to provide free access to geospatial technology in response to the COVID-19 emergency in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Governments in the region will be able to use a COVID-19 solution to track critical equipment and asset availability, manage supply chains, and maintain business continuity.

Leveraging Esris Disaster Response Program, and based on the specific needs of IDB member countries, this collaboration provides access to technology resources that can enhance the regions response to the immediate public health emergency posed by COVID-19. Concretely, governments in the region will be able to leverage Esris analytical models and implement dashboards and control centers to monitor the spread of the virus and identify where intervention is needed.

With Esri, we have developed a collaborative relationship focused on working with IDB clients to solve complex problems and combat COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean, said Nuria Simo, the IDBs Chief Information Officer and General Manager of Department of Information Technology. We believe Esris leadership in disaster response programs, technical knowledge and assistance in the use of geographic information systems, usage of georeferenced data, and access to analytical tools can greatly benefit the region in its fight against the virus, while helping us meet other important needs in the countries we serve.

We are very proud to assist IDB in providing support to Latin America and the Caribbean, said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. The ability to understand emergency management capacity is crucial to handling a crisis like this, and it is our mission to offer enhanced technological capabilities that empower governments around the globe to respond faster, and with the best data resources at their disposal.

In addition to supporting the public health response, the partnership will also support the three other priority areas identified by the IDB as it works to address COVID-19 in LAC, including the creation of safety nets for vulnerable populations, economic productivity and employment, and the development of fiscal policies to relieve economic impacts.

To learn more about Esris resources for responding to COVID-19, visit go.esri.com/coronavirus.

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4 Incredible Experiences to Have in the Caribbean – Femina

Posted: at 5:55 pm

Discover the best beaches, cultural experiences and incredible nature experiences these fabled islands have to offer...

Discover Havana

Begin your Caribbean adventure in the atmospheric capital of Cuba. Cruise the citys colonial streets in a vintage American convertible. Then, venture deep into the Cuban countryside, experience daily life in the lush tobacco fields of Vinales, draw back the curtains on Santiago de Cubas ballet workshops, and wander across the French-infused waterfront of Cienfuegos.

Swim with the Humpbacks in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is full of wild adventures, mostly of the natural kind, activities like snorkelling with humpback whales. Spend a week at Silver Bank, the scene of the largest gathering of North Atlantic humpback whales on the planet. Not only will you get to view their antics from your comfortable liveaboard vessel, youll also be able to dive into the warm tropical watersand encounter humpbacks eye-to-eye in their natural environment, on their terms.Now, thats wild!

Soak in the Tropical Vibes at Jamaica

If you wish to experience the true-blue vibe of the Caribbean, head to Jamaica and venture beyond all clichs. In this land of white, sandy beaches and delicious native cuisine, take an all-encompassing trip to get under the skin of the country.Youll see and hear Rastafari culture on a tour of an indigenous Rastafari village, relax in the refreshing waters of Dunns River Falls, and swim the azure blue waters off Seven Mile Beach.

Go on a Bird-watching Trail in Trinidad

After enjoying the wonderful accent of the locals in the Caribbean, if you have time to explore one tiny country thats full of natural beauty, head to Trinidad. This country is the perfectisland for encounteringboth South American and Caribbean bird-life and thus attracts lots of visitors annually. Choose a seven-day trip at the Asa Wright Nature Centre, home to 400 species of birds. Expect to spot tanagers, hummingbirds, euphonias and more. Also, watch leatherback turtles laying their eggs, see extraordinary oil birds at Dunston Caves, and the marvellous spectacle of scarlet ibis coming in to roost at Caroni Swamp

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IDB, Esri offer solutions to combat COVID-19 in the Caribbean – Jamaica Observer

Posted: at 5:55 pm

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WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has joined forces with Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, to provide free access to geospatial technology in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The IDB said that governments in the region will be able to use a custom COVID-19 solution to track critical equipment and assets availability, manage supply chains and maintain business continuity.

Leveraging Esri's Disaster Response Programme, and based on the specific needs of IDB member countries, this collaboration provides access to technology resources that can enhance the region's response to the immediate public health emergency posed by COVID-19, the IDB said in a statement.

Concretely, governments in the region will be able to leverage Esri's analytical models and implement dashboards and control centres to monitor the spread of the virus and identify where intervention is needed, it added.

The IDB's Chief Information Officer and General Manager of Department of Information Technology, Nuria Simo, said with ESRI, "we have developed a collaborative relationship focused on working with IDB clients to solve complex problems and combat COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean.

We believe ESRI's leadership in disaster response programs, technical knowledge and assistance in the use of geographic information systems, usage of georeferenced data, and access to analytical tools can greatly benefit the region in its fight against the virus, while helping us meet other important needs in the countries we serve, she added.

Esri founder and president, Jack Dangermond, said his company was very proud to assist IDB in providing support to Latin America and the Caribbean.

The ability to understand emergency management capacity is crucial to handling a crisis like this, and it is our mission to offer enhanced technological capabilities that empower governments around the globe to respond faster, and with the best data resources at their disposal, he added.

In addition to supporting the public health response, the IDB said the partnership will also support the three other priority areas it has identified, as it works to address COVID-19 in LAC, including the creation of safety nets for vulnerable populations, economic productivity and employment, and the development of fiscal policies to relieve economic impacts.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

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UK Armed Forces step up support to the Caribbean Overseas Territories during coronavirus pandemic – GOV.UK

Posted: at 5:55 pm

On 08 May an RAF flight delivered Foreign Office-sourced supplies to the Turks and Caicos Islands including 6 ventilators, blood and medication to support the Islands health care systems during the coronavirus pandemic. This flight is part of the wider support being offered by the UK Government to its Overseas Territories in order to maintain access to essential goods including food, fuel and medical supplies.

Alongside this, the Royal Navys disaster relief specialists on RFA Argus are preparing for hurricane season by testing their skills across six of the Overseas Territories. Operating in and around Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, the Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos, the crew have been familiarising themselves with the terrain of each island and identifying potential landing sites should aid need to be delivered.

RFA Argus and troops on board have conducted exercises on Montserrat and Turks and Caicos. The exercises use simulated scenarios to test the crews ability to quickly land personnel, equipment and stores ashore in the aftermath of a disaster and deliver life-saving aid to local populations.

The commitment of our Armed Forces to support the Overseas Territories in times of pandemic or national disaster is unwavering.

We will continue to support our partners in the Caribbean, engaging with both the local communities and authorities as they prepare for the hurricane season and adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Weve seen how hurricanes can devastate communities in the Caribbean and when combined with the coronavirus, that devastation could lead to even more lives being lost.

By providing life-saving aid alongside the world-class expertise of the British military, the UK is making sure British nationals and others living in the Overseas Territories, are prepared and supported ahead of the hurricane season.

The early deployment of a Royal Navy ship ahead of the hurricane season is vital for the personnel on board to be able to gather local knowledge of the islands and establish working practices with local authorities. Crew on board RFA Argus have been practising how to deliver aid and support local residents if a hurricane hits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ship carries hurricane-related aid from the Department for International Development such as water, ration packs, medical equipment and materials to repair damage and clear blocked roads. It is staffed by an experienced team of sailors, aviators and marines equipped to deploy in the wake of a humanitarian disaster.

Other recent support provided by the Armed Forces to the Overseas Territories includes:

Small security assistance teams have been deployed to both the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Each team will reinforce the capacity of local police and support local authorities

A new military co-ordination cell has been formed with our French and Dutch allies, optimising our support for Overseas Territories in the Caribbean as they co-ordinate their response to COVID-19.

A small medical team alongside 2 Intensive Treatment Units have been deployed to the Falkland Islands and the RAF has also flown in supplies of oxygen and medicine

310kg of essential supplies have been delivered to Ascension Island and St Helena

175 personnel have been deployed to Gibraltar, to support the delivery of food and medicine to residents

The deployment of military capabilities and UK personnel is just one way the UK Government is supporting the people of the Overseas Territories. Specialist health professionals from Public Health England are providing crucial guidance and training on infectious disease management and we are providing advice on sourcing medical personnel and equipment.

There are around 270,000 people living in the Overseas Territories, most of whom are British nationals.

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Over 1,000 Jamaicans on Royal Caribbean cleared to disembark – Stabroek News

Posted: at 5:55 pm

(Jamaica Gleaner) The government has granted approval for the 1,044 Jamaican ship workers aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship to disembark.

The process will begin tomorrow at noon in Falmouth.

In making the announcement, Prime Minister Andrew Holness stated that the Ministry of Health and Wellness will create a sterile zone around the port to conduct COVID-19 testing.

Holness explained that the Jamaicans will disembarkin groups of 200 every 48-72 hours and taken to Bahia Principe hotel in St Ann.

The time window is to allow for the test results.

Holness said ship workers who test positive will go into state quarantine for 14 days while those who test negative will be allowed to quarantine at home for the same period.

Persons in home quarantine will have their location tracked and must do a video check-in multiple times a day, Holness said.

I understand the frustration the ship workers are facing, they are eager to see their families,we well understand but Jamaica is a country of rules. Rules dont mean we cant have sympathy and empathy to ensure that suffering is minimised.

We have learned a tough lesson as a governmentwe took note of the hardship cases right across the government and we brought them back. In bringing them back, we were not able to give them the good experience that they deserve, we cannot afford that to happen again, we have to ensure that we perfect the arrangements, Holness said.

Holness said over 9,000 repatriation applications have been received by the government.

Meanwhile, he disclosed that the government is working to bring home nearly 900 additional Jamaican cruise ship workers.

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US Deportations Are Exporting COVID-19 to Latin America and the Caribbean – Truthout

Posted: at 5:55 pm

Travel is restricted around the world but the United States has been flying migrants on hundreds of deportation flights to at least 11 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean since the pandemic began in the United States. There have been over 100 cases of migrants deported from the United States testing positive for COVID-19 upon being returned to Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico and Colombia.

These deportations demonstrate the lengths to which the Trump administration is willing to go to prioritize its harsh immigration enforcement agenda. Under a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order issued on March 20, the administration closed U.S. borders to asylum seekers but still allowed truck drivers, students and others to continue entering the United States.

Over 20,000 migrants have since been expelled to Mexico or rapidly flown to their home country. Worse still, hundreds of unaccompanied children have been subject to this cruel policy in direct violation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act passed by Congress in 2008 to establish a process for migrant children to receive temporary shelter and be reunited with their family members throughout their immigration proceedings.

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These deportations also reflect the well-documented negligence in providing access to medical care and poor conditions for migrants in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency deporting migrants. Detainees have been denied access to soap, disinfectant and masks during this public health emergency. Carlos Ernesto Escobar Mejia, a Salvadoran man, became the first detained person to die from COVID-19 after having been hospitalized from the Otay Mesa Detention Center in California.

There is no way to know how many more immigrants could already have been exposed to COVID-19, as ICE has only tested a fraction of those within its migrant jails. Of the ones that the agency did test, about 50 percent tested positive for COVID-19. ICE is now shuttling immigrants back and forth between migrant jails that have had COVID-19 outbreaks and then deporting them with just a temperature check. ICE will be unable to administer tests for all deported migrants, and even when it does test them, there has already been at least one case of a migrant deported back with certification from the U.S. that he tested negative only to test positive in Guatemala. We cannot rely on testing or wait until it is implemented.

Regardless of whether or not migrants test for COVID-19 before being placed on flights, they are being returned to extremely unstable and dangerous situations in their home countries. In El Salvador, those deported are taken directly from the airport to one of at least nine quarantine facilities for deported migrants where there have been reports of flooding, lack of access to medical care, overcrowding and unhygienic conditions.

Governments are also taking increasingly repressive measures in response to COVID-19. Over 6,000 individuals have been arrested in Honduras for violating curfews or for protesting over layoffs and lack of food, and one man there was killed and another seriously injured by the military police. Curfews and suspensions to public transportation prevent families from accessing their relatives at airports or quarantine centers, which is especially concerning for unaccompanied children.

Migrants are being deported to some of the poorest countries in the hemisphere with extremely fragile health care systems. Haiti may have as few as 60 ventilators for a country of 11 million people. A presidentially appointed panel of medical experts in Haiti recently called for a suspension of deportation flights to the country.

Like much of the Trump administrations policies toward the region, deportations reflect a racist and myopic approach to Latin America and its people. The general attitude seems to be: It is not worth testing migrants for COVID-19 and it does not matter if they infect their communities when they are sent back.

Any measure that contributes to regionally spreading the disease or putting people at risk must be stopped immediately. A major outbreak of COVID-19 could be catastrophic, reads a statement from Doctors without Borders calling for a halt to deportations.

By exporting the virus, the United States is contributing to a destabilization of the region. There are already reports of growing food insecurity and deepening poverty due to COVID-19 in Latin America. Increased out-migration is likely to follow.

The United States should immediately halt deportation flights for as long as there is a public health emergency. Increasing testing of deported migrants alone is not the answer. Instead, the United States should release immigrants and asylum seekers and allow them to shelter in place with family and friends in the United States. It should also provide countries with assistance based on their public health needs, and not the extent to which they cooperate on migration enforcement. Doing so will make us all safer and help the region respond in these tough times, building its resiliency for the future.

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