Thousands of Central Americans are being detained by their governments after allegedly violating measures designed to slow the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, Reuters is reporting. Governments in Central America have implemented curfews and even home quarantines in recent weeks, but many Central Americans are having difficulty conforming to the new rules.
The region has fewer medical resources than parts of the developed world and little if any social safety net to assist families and individuals who are now being instructed by their governments to observe curfews and practice home quarantining. As noted by Reuters, many of the impoverished people of Central America don't have the option of paid sick leave, working from home, or even social distancing in the midst of overcrowded living conditions.
Honduran authorities said about 2,250 people have been arrested for violating the curfew imposed since mid-March while Guatemalan authorities said 5,705 people had been detained for leaving their homes without justification.
In Panama, more than 5,000 people have been detained in recent weeks for violating curfew rules; another 424 people have been detained for not complying with recent rules that limit men and women leaving the house to alternate days.
Meanwhile, in El Salvador, 712 people have been detained for failing to comply with the mandatory home quarantine decreed by President Nayib Bukele, and have been taken to containment centers.
The lockdowns and border closures have reportedly slowed traffic along the migrant trail from Central America into the United States.