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|2020 coronavirus pandemic in El Salvador|
|First outbreak||Wuhan, China|
|Index case||Metapán, Santa Ana|
|Arrival date||18 March 2020|
(2 weeks and 2 days)
|Official Statistics - Government of El Salvador|
|‡Suspected cases have not been confirmed as being due to this strain by laboratory tests, although some other strains may have been ruled out.|
The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached El Salvador on 18 March 2020. As of 1 April 2020, El Salvador reported 41 cases, 2 deaths and 0 recovery. As of that date El Salvador had arrested more people for violating the quarantine than it had diagnosed cases of COVID-19, a total of 712 people had been arrested for violating quarantine orders. On 31 March 2020, the first COVID-19 death in El Salvador was confirmed, followed by a second death on 1 April 2020.
On 11 March, after the World Health Organization classified COVID-19 as a pandemic, President Nayib Bukele declared suspension of all educative activities in public and private schools all over the country for 21 days, followed by a solicitude to the Legislative Assembly of declaring state of emergency and state of exception, in spite of not having any COVID-19 confirmed cases. The Office of the Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights of El Salvador head, Apolonio Tobar, considered the actions taken by the government as "improvised". On 13 March, Bukele declared a red alert on the country. As the night of 14 March, both decrees were approved, declaring state of emergency for 30 days and state of exception for 15 days, accompanied by prohibition of people circulation.
A diplomatic dispute between El Salvador and Mexico developed when President Bukele accused Mexico of allowing a dozen people with COVID-19 to board a plane bound for El Salvador International Airport on 16 March. Mexican deputy health minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell denied the charge, and tests showed the individuals in question were virus-free.
On 18 March, President Bukele announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in El Salvador, which was detected in the Hospital Nacional General "Arturo Morales", in Metapán. The case was identified as a male and according to the General Direction of Migration and Foreigners (Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería) he was in Italy, where pressumably he was infected Two more cases were confirmed on 20 March.
President Nayib Bukele banned public gathering of more than 500 people, prohibited most international travellers and shut down educational institutions on 17 March. An infectologist who avoided the quarantine after a trip to Germany is being investigated.
On 21 March 2020, El Salvador declared a 30-day curfew in response to the coronavirus crisis.
The government set up a website on 27 March for people to consult about government aid, but it collapsed over the weekend of 28–29 March.
On Monday, 30 March, hundreds of citizens defied restrictions and went to the streets to demand the promised help.
As 1 April 2020, the government had established 96 centers (facilities) of quarantine, with 4,276 people being retained in them, according with the official website.