Mar 19, 2020 - Health

Reports: Haiti sees its first two cases of coronavirus

This image is an areal view of houses that are close together

The Jalousie neighborhood in Port-au-Prince on March 12. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Haiti reported its first two cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, President Jovenel Moise announced in a press conference, per multiple reports.

Why it matters: There is only one doctor or nurse per 3,000 people in the country, the World Health Organization found in 2016 — and Haiti's spending in the public health sector "is among the lowest in the world." Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, per the CIA World Factbook.

Where it stands: Haiti closed its border with the Dominican Republic last Sunday and suspended flights from Europe, Canada and Latin America before recording any COVID-19 cases, the Miami Herald reports. The country also suspended travel for government officials.

  • Schools and factories will close in the country on Friday, Moise announced in the press conference on Thursday, per the Herald's Jacqueline Charles.

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