Uruguay reinforces controls at Brazilian border

Uruguay reinforces controls at Brazilian border
Border control in Uruguay. Photo: Presidencia de la republica.

Following the Donald Trump White House’s travel ban on Brazil, Uruguay President Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou has decided to reinforce controls at the border with Brazil, in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Over the weekend, two Covid-19 deaths were registered at the border town of Rivera, which lies adjacent to the Brazilian municipality Santana do Livramento.

So far, Brazil’s southernmost state Rio Grande do Sul has confirmed 6,470 infections (526 per 1 million people) and 180 deaths. Uruguay, with a population of only 3.5-million-people population, has 769 confirmed cases (21 cases per 1 million people) and 22 deaths.

Mr. Pou told reporters on Monday that he and his Brazilian counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro, talked about activating an already-existing sanitary cooperation treaty. 

Montevideo is concerned that its six bi-national border cities might become gateways for the coronavirus to enter the country. At the beginning of the month, Mr. Pou ordered his cabinet to enhance controls both on border checkpoints and unofficial paths often used for clandestine border crossings. 

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