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Weekly Report - 19 March 2020 (WR-20-11)

ECUADOR-PERU: Taking drastic action

The governments of both Ecuador and Peru ratcheted up their response to contain the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) this week by implementing some of the toughest measures in the region. Presidents Lenín Moreno and Martín Vizcarra respectively declared a state of emergency, closed national borders and schools, restricted free movement, and imposed nocturnal curfews. The public health services in both countries would struggle in the event of a sharp escalation in cases but Peru is on a much sounder economic footing to weather the virus-induced slump. Ecuador, weighed down by a heavy debt burden and battling to reduce a high fiscal deficit, also heads into this struggle with oil prices falling to fresh lows.

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