Nine months after recording its first coronavirus case, Uruguay is seeing an outbreak in what President Luis Lacalle Pou has called the “first wave,” threatening to undo the hard-fought gains throughout the pandemic.
The government is taking a heavier-handed approach to beat back infections including tighter border restrictions and a bill sent to Congress seeking fast track approval to breakup gatherings deemed a threat to public health.
To be sure, Uruguay still boasts the lowest infection and mortality rates on the continent thanks to the initial success of a strategy that relied on voluntary prevention measures that Lacalle Pou dubbed “the responsible exercise of liberty.” Now infections are soaring with a record 547 new cases reported Thursday as pandemic-weary Uruguayans welcome summer with parties and big family gatherings.
“The world’s second wave is our first wave,” Lacalle Pou said this week. “Responsible liberty had its moment. Today, we appeal to coexistence with solidarity.”
233,271 in U.S.Most new cases today
+11% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-0.8029 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
3.7% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), Nov.