Haiti imposes state of emergency as COVID-19 cases soar

Haiti’s government has implemented a state of emergency to tackle the rising cases of coronavirus.

Since the start of this month, the French-speaking republic has confirmed 933 new cases, and 38 deaths from the virus.

The state of emergency will last for eight days.

The Ministry of Public Health is also reporting the presence of the contagious English and Brazilian variants of the virus.

President Jovenel Moïse, during an extraordinary virtual Council of Ministers meeting, issued the decree. According to the decree, wearing a mask is compulsory in all places frequented by the population, including public transport. 

It also calls for the compulsory installation of handwashing points in all public and private buildings.

“Temperature taking is compulsory in all private and public institutions, in particular financial institutions, places of worship, schools, universities, hospitals, health centres, offices, and in all embarkation and disembarkation points of passengers,” according to the decree, adding that people must observe social distancing and that staff working in public and private institutions are reduced to 50 per cent of their normal capacity and home work is encouraged.

A curfew will also be in effect from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

According to the latest figures, Haiti has recorded 14,037 confirmed cases and 292 deaths since the start of the pandemic in March last year.