2020 coronavirus pandemic in Guatemala

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Guatemala
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
First outbreakWuhan, China
Index caseGuatemala City
Arrival date13 March 2020
(3 weeks)
Confirmed cases47[1]

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached Guatemala in March 2020.


On 13 March 2020, the first case in Guatemala, a Guatemalan man who traveled from Italy to Guatemala, was confirmed.[2] The man arrived in Villa Nueva, a suburb of Guatemala City, along with two of his family members and five Salvadorans on an Aeroméxico flight.[citation needed]

Two days prior to the country's first case, the Guatemalan government banned entry to citizens of all European countries, Iran, China and South Korea, which was put into effect on 12 March.[3]

On 13 March 2020, the Guatemalan government extended its travel restrictions to travelers from the US and Canada.[4] Starting on 16 March, no travelers coming from these countries will be allowed to enter Guatemala, until March 31 (15 day quarantine is in place as of March 16).[citation needed]

On March 21, 2020, the Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei alongside its Vice-President and the Council Of Ministry declared martial law for all the country, in an effort to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and prevent the spreading of the virus.

March 13, 2020

The first case detected[5] was a Guatemalan from El Quiche,[6] 27 years old, who arrived with covid-19 symptoms to La Aurora International Airport on March 12, 2020, on board flight Aeroméxico (AM 672 08:15) from Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez de la Ciudad de México, with 109 passengers.[7] Upon being screened on arrival, he was placed in isolation and set along with two family members that had travelled along in a journey that included visiting Milan, all were admitted at the Hospital Nacional Especializado de Villa Nueva to rule out covid-19[5] contagion, where they have been since. Five Salvadoreans traveling in the same flight (AM 672) were denied entry and sent back in another flight of Aeroméxico, due to the prohibition to Salvadorians entering the country.[5]

March 15, 2020

The second case was detected upon rapid deterioration and death of an 85-year-old Guatemalan citizen[8] that, along with his son and two grandchildren (ages 30 and 32), (Covid-19 cases third and fourth), departed from Guatemala on February 24 on board a flight to Madrid, where they stayed until March 2 when they travelled to Switzerland, and on March 5, on board a train they reached the station Paris-Gare de Lyon by 13:00 hours[8] and lodged at a hotel near the train station.

On March 6, they boarded Iberia flight 6341 to Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport, Madrid where they then transferred to Iberia flight 6341. Upon arrival at Guatemala city that same day, all four family members were given a clear at the checkpoints at the La Aurora International Airport. They were instructed to self-isolate at home. Afterwards they headed to the town of San Pedro Sacatepéquez, Guatemala, where they live. Four other persons contracted the infection. Three of them close family members.[9]

Eight days after his arrival in Guatemala (March 14, 2020) the elderly patient showed a marked deterioration in his breathing capacity. He was taken to a private health clinic where he died from cardiopulmonary shock on Sunday March 15.[8]The Guatemalan Health Ministry said that on board flight (IB6341) of Iberia 96 passengers arrived; the authorities have contacted 84 passengers.[10]

March 31, 2020: The thirty-seventh case is a 29-year-old man, residing in Quetzaltenango, who returned from Spain on March 14;  the person was isolated and quarantined at his home, [62] He started with symptoms on March 26 and went to a private sanatorium, [63] where he was swabbed and tested positive after being detected, he was transferred to the National Hospital  Specialized in Villa Nueva.

The thirty-eighth case is a 44-year-old woman from the municipality of Fraijanes, Guatemala, who had contact with a relative who had been in New York.  He started with symptoms on March 26, so he went to a private sanatorium, where he performed a nasopharyngeal swab and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The president, who is the one who announces the cases to the population  He added that some patients are under observation for relapse due to the spread of COVID-19. On the night of the 31st, the thirty-ninth case was reported, this is a 69-year-old doctor from Amatitlán, who works in the  hospital in that locality and had contact with the patient in case 38, therefore all persons who had contact are investigated to place them in preventive quarantine.  The doctor was taken to the Villa Nueva National Specialized Hospital. Health workers who had contact with the 39th patient with COVID-19 in Guatemala were identified through surveillance cameras. The patients with whom the doctor had contact and when located should also be in quarantine. There are a total of 29 patients with whom the doctor had contact and remain isolated in their homes under the supervision of the Ministry of Health.

On the afternoon of April 1, on a national network, the president Alejandro Giamattei reported on seven new cases, five of them are family members who were already in quarantine.  He also reported that there are more than 2,500 people in quarantine.

10 Coronavirus cases recovered

On March 25, 2020, the president at a press conference announced that four of the patients with SARS-CoV-2 had tested negative, so they had been transferred to the observation area at the temporary hospital in Parque de la  Industry.

As of March 27, there was one more case recovered, it is the 32-year-old grandson, from case two, who traveled in Europe in the company of his deceased grandfather, his brother (case four) and his father.

On March 28, 2020, the president at a press conference from the field hospital in the Parque de la Industria, announced that five more, of the patients with SARS-CoV-2, had returned negative tests, bringing the total to ten.  recovered patients, who continue to be observed at the Villa Nueva National Specialized Hospital.

Controversies and Fakenews

Cominicado 41 of the Government of Guatemala

That the video of a supposed doctor circulates on social networks, who identifies himself as Rodolfo García, and claims to be part of the Renal Liver Center of Guatemala.  This person announces a day of vaccination against the coronavirus (COVID-19), in Chisec, Alta Verapaz, for this Friday.

The Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance clarifies that there is no vaccine in Guatemala to prevent COVID-19, and given this, it calls on the population not to be fooled by this type of products offered by unscrupulous people, which could be  counterproductive to health.

Likewise, the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance reiterates that the only effective method to prevent COVID-19 is the isolation and practice of the following recommendations:

Frequent hand washing with soap and water, or disinfecting hands with antibacterial gel.

When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with your flexed elbow or bandana;  discard the tissue immediately and wash your hands.

Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough.

Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects of daily use.

Cominicate 43 of the Government of Guatemala

That a message is circulating in the WhatsApp messaging application which refers to the fact that "staff who work in the hospital" recommends not leaving home from tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, because "the worst begins", referring to  the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

In this regard, the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance clarifies that this message was not generated in any of the 45 hospitals in the national public network.

The Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance calls on the population not to spread this type of messages that only cause confusion and alarm, also urges them to inform themselves through the official channels of the Central Government and this Ministry, reminding them of the importance  to follow preventive measures to prevent the spread of the virus. [73]

"Mister grotesque" (the deputy Aldo Iván Dávila Morales)

After the deputy Aldo Dávila indicated that there have already been several deaths from atypical pneumonia in national hospitals, "since they have received multiple calls from the health areas" and that they could be COVID-19, [74] but it was not  The tests have been carried out on them, the president, during the press conference of March 28, confirmed that the number of people infected by COVID-19 reached 34, of which 10 are already recovered. [75] He continued to express the  President, now visibly angry, his rejection of the deputy's statements that "he is not a doctor" and instead of naming him by his name and surnames, he referred to him as "Mister Grim Reaper", and rebuked him saying that "with that guy  the only thing it causes is to scare the population more. ” The president read the list of cases diagnosed as atypical pneumonia and detailed hospital by hospital the number of patients, reporting that  27 atypical pneumonias have occurred so far in March in the 38 hospitals, but this condition is totally different from the coronavirus;  Of these 27 cases of atypical pneumonias, one person died and had a coronavirus swab, but it was negative, so the information provided by the deputy from Winaq was not only alarming but false, and was not  He rules out that he had the intention of gaining prominence rather than generating panic.

Deputy Dávila has earned the animosity of the Executive for his lackluster watering (not to say ill-mannered) during interpellations to government ministers.  So rude has been the way in which the deputy Dávila rebukes the ministers, that the president issued instructions to the officials to call the deputies to sanity or otherwise abandon the summons.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Coronavirus" (in Spanish). Ministerio de Salud Pública (Guatemala).
  2. ^ "Coronavirus: Alejandro Giammattei confirma el primer caso de covid-19 en Guatemala". Prensa Libre (in Spanish). 13 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Guatemala to ban entry of Europeans, Chinese, others to keep out coronavirus". National Post. Reuters. 11 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Guatemala Bans Arrivals From U.S., Canada to Fight Corona-virus". U.S. News. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "Alejandro Giammattei confirma el primer caso de coronavirus en Guatemala".
  6. ^ Pocasangre, Henry (13 March 2020). "Coronavirus: Guatemala confirma el primer caso de COVID-19". Repú Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  7. ^ "El recorrido de la persona que se convirtió en el primer caso de coronavirus en Guatemala – Prensa Libre". Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  8. ^ a b c "Lamentablemente falleció el primer guatemalteco con COVID-19 positivo. El paciente tenía 85 años y viajo desde Madrid a Guatemala junto a su hijo y dos nietos".
  9. ^ González, Ana (20 March 2020). "¿Cómo se contagiaron los 12 pacientes de Covid-19 en Guatemala?". Repú Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  10. ^ De 2020, 15 De Marzo. "Guatemala confirmó la primera muerte por contagio de coronavirus". Infobae (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 March 2020.
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