Two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Latin America. A 61- year old Brazilian patient, who had recently returned from Italy to Sao Paulo, as well as a 62- year old Italian man travelling in the Dominican Republic, are now in quarantine. Due the rapid rate at which the Coronavirus is spreading globally, Latin American countries continue to strengthen their precautions to prevent contagion. Among other initiatives, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) has provided training on diagnosing and detecting the virus to virologists from across Central America. The epidemic is having a negative impact on global markets, from car sales to stock exchanges. For Central America, there is a risk of supply chain disruption as China is a primary import and export partner. Key imports from China to Central American countries include, textile, electronics, vehicles and plastic materials used for packaging. It is thought that it may take several months for disruption to imports to become problematic for commercial continuity. Exports of key products to China, particularly agricultural goods and clothing items, are expected to take a hit as Chinese authorities closely control the country’s ports. If the epidemic continues to spread, tourism in Central America is also likely to be affected.
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