Haiti has a tragic history of disasters. Will covid-19 be next?
Today the Caribbean nation of 11 million, often described as the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, is bracing for another potential disaster: the novel coronavirus.
To date, only five people in Haiti have died of covid-19 and 72 cases have been confirmed. With a mere 439 tests conducted, those figures are undoubtedly low. Meanwhile, in the past week, fears of a major outbreak have surged as thousands of Haitian migrant workers flood home across the border from the Dominican Republic, which has reported over 5,000 cases and more than 250 deaths.
“Urgent action at the border is needed,” tweeted Giuseppe Loprete, who heads the Haiti office of the International Organization for Migration. With few public hospitals functioning, news reports have described private clinics and health centers in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, racing to prepare isolation wards and makeshift personal protection kits.
Haitians have long lived in a state of perpetual emergency. “Once enslaved under French colonial rule, then kept in poverty by a series of domestic dictators until the 1980s, they …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]