COVID 19 Puerto Rico

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Oficina de Asuntos Públicos Secretary of Public Affairs updates the government's response to the COVID-19 situation in Puerto Rico (March 25, 2020- La Fortaleza, San Juan) – Today, the Secretary of Public Affairs, Osvaldo Soto García, offered an update on the management of the emergency caused by the impact of Coronavirus COVID-19 on the island.

"We have seen an increase of confirmed positive cases on the island, which goes hand-in-hand with the implementation of strategies identified, both by the medical task force and by the economic component of Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced. Our priority is to reduce the possibility of contagion, and continue evaluating available relief measures for the people who comply with the orders of the Government of Puerto Rico" said the Secretary.

Meanwhile, the health task force coordinator, Dr. Segundo Rodríguez Quilinchini, assured that at the moment "citizens complying with social distancing are still necessary inorder to contain the pandemic on the island."

The update for today is as follows: (The Department of Health already issued its update in separate communication early)

Department of Public Safety:

At 11:00 am:

• 355 arrests for violating Executive Order 2020-023

• 563 complaints for violating Executive Order 2020-023

                       Bureau of Forensic Sciences:

                       Yesterday samples of COVID-19 were taken from the following:

• A Woman, 72 years old, died in Cardiovascular Hospital- had respiratory difficulties, and the test was not performed at the institution. The COVID-19 test was administered. Pending results

• 84-year-old woman, died at home, with respiratory distress – the deceased took the COVID-19 test. Pending results

                      This morning, the test of COVID-19 was administered from:

• A 3-year-old boy with genetic conditions, recurrent pneumonia, respiratory distress. The child died in his house. The COVID-19 test was administered. Pending results

Puerto Rico National Guard:

At 6:00 am

• 33,314 passengers were medically evaluated, and their temperature was taken

• 88 passengers received screening in the triage area

• 19 passengers received the COVID-19 test, their cases were sent to be supervised by the Department of Health and their GP

• 58 passengers were sent to home isolation

• 0 passengers were sent to the hospital

Tourism Company:

• Last week, the Tourism Company shared the US Travel Association study, whichpointed out that nationwide around 4.6 million jobs in the Nation were projected to be at risk, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

• Yesterday, US Travel updated those projections stating that the impact has exceeded previously established indicators to date and that they estimate that 5.9 million jobs will be at risk or 37% of the total number of jobs generated by tourism in the nation.

• In Puerto Rico, 37% of the 80,000 jobs generated by the sector amount to 29,600 jobs that are at risk, as a result of this crisis. In response to this alarming figure, the Tourism Company continues to work closely with the private sector to generate a series of recommendations that may represent relief for companies and the tourist workforce.

• These recommendations are being brought to the attention of the Governor for her consideration and that of the economic task force.

• The Tourism Company is guiding the sector on how to take advantage of the different benefits or stimulus that have been approved at the state and federal levels.

Port Authority:


• Between 6:00 am yesterday and 6:00 am today, 2 cargo ships and 1 tourist entered. 3 cargo ships, and 1 military and 1 tugboat, with 1 barge. During the same period, 5 cargo vessels, 2 tankers, and 2 tourism vessels remained in the bay. The crews were unable to disembark during their stay in Puerto Rico.


• Starting today at 12:00 am, all commercial flights began to be redirected to the Luis Muñoz Marín Airport (LMM) in San Juan and all charter flights to Aguadilla, Isla Grande, and LMM.

Education Department

• According to data from the Department of Education (DE) Office of Information System and Technological Support to Teaching (OSIATD), visits to the agency's page exceed 1 million 100,000 visits, since the announcement of the academic options. This represents massive support for the educational alternatives offered to school communities.

• The EduPR platform registers the entry of 7,000 teachers and 45,000 parents and students.


• PAS Line:

Total calls: 1,574

Covid-19: 426

Chat: 217

The Main reason for calling: people in isolation.

Total Accumulated: (March): 24,373

Covid-19 Accumulated: 5,286

Chat Accumulated: 2,023 (as of March 14)

• Interventions at the LMM airport:

Triage area: 194

First responders: 43

Educational material: 950

• Today 1,910 patients participating in our services were contacted for follow-up and telephone support.

Department of State

• Follow-up communication was established with two J1 visa students in Puerto Rico who wanted to return to Finland and France. Their return to their respective countries was confirmed.

• In communication with a Puerto Rican family in Ecuador, who are waiting for a humanitarian flight from United Airlines.

• In communication with the Office of the Resident Commissioner for the status of the cases handled in joint work was updated, in addition to updating the table of Puerto Ricans in Peru. Communication was sent notifying that the U.S. State Department continues to work with the flight dispatch efforts. The Peruvian government did not grant permits for flights to Cuzco.

• There was a conference call with the participation of several members of Congress, in which an update was provided by the U.S. State Department on the task force and the management of the flights for repatriation. The possibility of managing land transportation to take citizens from Cuzco to Lima was discussed.

• Communication was maintained with a relative of a Spanish citizen with an ESTA visa, who is in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and wishes to travel to Puerto Rico. The Embassy of Spain in the Dominican Republic and with CBP was notified in this regard, in addition to requesting a travel report from the citizen, since he was in Puerto Rico, prior to his trip to Santo Domingo.

• Follow-up communication was established with parents of a minor who is in Bermuda and they informed that they will wait for an available flight by April 4.

• Follow-up communication was established with the family of 7 Puerto Ricans in Honduras, who confirmed that they are already on the waiting list for a United Airlines humanitarian flight, scheduled for next week.

• A new case was attended to 17 Puerto Ricans who are in Cairo, Egypt, who, despite the emergency, decided to travel. Communication was sent to the United States Embassy in Egypt with information on all passengers. They are waiting for a possible flight by March 25, 2020.

• A request was made by the Consul General of the Dominican Republic, requesting a waiver from the Executive Order, to be granted authorization to continue operating the remittance sending institutions to the Dominican Republic.

Agriculture Department

• The Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the USDA Food and Nutrition Program, supported the decision of the Family Department to request a waiver for two months (March and April) so that PAN participants who benefit from family markets do not lose the money and can use it in supermarkets and authorized grocery stores.

• At this time, agricultural production will be sold at these authorized locations until the family markets resume.

Justice Department

• The Department of Justice joined the effort of the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in alerting Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries about a fraud scheme that is proliferating due to the anxiety created in this population by the threat of contagion with COVID-19.

• Scammers are reported to have developed a scheme whereby, by offering tests to detect COVID-19 and vaccines against infection, they obtain the personal information of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, including their health plan number, to use fraudulently later. When asking for personal beneficiary information, scammers use it to bill services not rendered to Medicare and Medicaid or for other identity theft schemes.

• If you are a beneficiary of the Medicaid or Medicare Program and have received this type of approach for tests, vaccines or supplies of medical equipment for the treatment of COVID-19, you can write to the email The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, within the Department of Justice, will guide you. You can also contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline toll-free at 1 (866) 720-5721 or write to

Documento público del Gobierno de Puerto Rico que nos envía Olga Figueroa, coordinadora de AMZET Puerto Rico y Estados Unidos.

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