Guatemala registered ten deaths from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus on Friday and reached 90 deaths in total from COVID-19 since the first case was detected on March 13.
The Central American country added 259 new infections in the last 24 hours for a total of 4,607 cases of coronavirus in its territory, according to the national network, the Minister of Health, Hugo Monroy.
The ten deaths this Friday represent the second highest amount in a single day, below last Thursday in which twelve deaths by COVID-19 were recorded. Previously, the country had not exceeded five daily deaths.
According to Monroy, the deceased were six men and four women, 80% of them all over 62 years of age.
At least 260 Guatemalan officials have contracted the disease among police officers – more than 150 -, municipal traffic agents, soldiers, members of the health system and workers from some ministries, according to various state sources.
Last Saturday, the first and only death from a coronavirus was recorded by a member of the health staff, a nursing assistant working in a hospital in the west of the country.
According to local media, a doctor in the private sector died this Friday also from COVID-19, allegedly when he caught a patient.
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei had decreed a general quarantine on March 15 and a curfew since March 22, when there were 18 cases and one deceased, but on May 3 he decided to gradually reopen activities.
The reopening, however, was interrupted on May 14 when the conservative Giammattei, a doctor by profession, ordered the population to confine themselves for 21 hours a day on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays due to the increase in cases.
Guatemala is currently under curfew from five in the afternoon to five in the morning from Monday to Friday, and in total confinement on weekends.
Health authorities carried out 1,341 tests in the last 24 hours to detect the 259 new cases.
To date, Guatemala has carried out an average of around 1,400 tests per day to detect the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus per million inhabitants, still far from the continent’s average of around 4,000 tests per million inhabitants, according to various sources.
The health authorities have also explained that around 25% of the 1,400 daily tests are used in hospitalized patients, to verify if they have overcome the disease or not.