COVID-19: Industry calls for calm as Latin Americans panic buy
By Niamh Michail
- Last updated on
Coronavirus, named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, is now spreading across Latin America.
“While its late arrival has allowed the [Latin American] region’s governments to take preventative measures to limit the spread of the virus, it poses threats and challenges to a region with high migration rates, high levels of inequality, often weak health care systems, and political turbulence,” writes Emily Gregg from the Latin American Bureau.
Governments have been acting to contain the virus by closing borders, schools, and universities. However, the actions vary considerably depending on the country and region within the same country.
The leaders of two of the region’s biggest economies, Brazil and Mexico, have been criticized for flouting advice issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) that urges people to practice social distancing and governments to ban large gatherings to prevent the spread of the virus.
In recent days, both Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador have attended mass events, shaking hands and taking selfies with supporters.
We take a look at some key developments affecting the food industry.