Anonymous 4m 534
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
The first case of COVID-19 occurred on March 08. It was a 32-year-old man from Ecuador who was infected with the virus. People’s reaction was chaotic. Supermarkets were crowded with people selling basic foods, and the reaction from the state was swift.
A State of Sanitary Emergency was declared.
Closing of borders, cancellation of commercial flight operations and restriction of access to the country.
Suspension of all social activity, public or private, that involves agglomeration of people.
Preventive social isolation for sanitary reasons, having to remain in the habitual residence and only minimal and indispensable displacements can be made.
The general public responded very well to these measures. But the consequences of the Quarantine soon created more problems. Lower-class families were the first to feel the consequences of Covid-19 in Paraguay. Soon the basic foodstuffs ran out in their homes, and a wave of unemployed began as a consequence of low sales by small and large companies. But once again, the Government of Paraguay had a strategy to solve this problem. A loan of US $ 1,600. Money that went to:
Ministry of Health: 500 million USD
20 Million USD Loan Fund For Medium and Small Businesses
Social assistance: 300 Million USD
Unemployed: 100 Million USD
But I don’t want to bore you with details, just give you both sides about this country.
In Paraguay, there were only 15 adequate beds to receive COVID-19 patients. Yes, you read correctly, 15 beds available for 7 million Paraguayans.
Paraguay is the second most corrupt country in the South American Continent according to the Corruption Perception Index. And it has 1.6 million inhabitants in a situation of extreme poverty according to DGEEC.
Paraguayan citizens began to organize, in their respective neighborhoods, an event called “Olla Popular” (Popular Pot), which aims to feed the most deprived families in this quarantine. Many people said that the subsidy received by the State (Subsidy of 77US $ per person) is not enough, and that it only takes a few days to buy food, and the situation is even more critical if one is the father or mother of two or three children.
So what happens when a pandemic that registers thousands of deaths in “First World”, countries like the United States, Italy and Spain reaches the second most corrupt country in South America that has only 15 beds available for COVID patients, with 1.6 million citizens in extreme poverty, at the mercy of the consequences of the pandemic? They predict that 223,850 Paraguayans lost their jobs. This figure will increase, because the 1,600 Millions of dollars were not yet affected in the economy. The most affected are small companies, who have reported that they have not been able to access bank loans in order to survive the almost null sales during quarantine, they have been forced, for the most part, to close their companies, without being able to access the credits that were put by the same state through the banks. loan was not affected in the economy.
The COVID- 19 situation in Paraguay appears to be under control, thanks to the closure of borders when the first case of COVID-19 was detected. But the real problem that the Paraguayan government will have to face will be the economic crisis, extreme poverty, and corruption in the state leadership.