In light of the ongoing global pandemic, coronavirus, the South American giant, Brazil, has today, 19th March, 2020, made the decision to close the border with Guyana at Lethem, Region 9 for two weeks with possibility for extension if the need arises.
The ordinance, signed by the ministers of Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, and Justice, Sérgio Moro, also restricts foreigners from these countries to enter Brazil by road or by land. The deadline can be extended by technical recommendation of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa)
This will serve a severe economic blow to the residents of the Rupununi who largely depend on Brazil for food and consumer items. Already with flights and buses from Georgetown greatly reduced, the people of Region 9 feel greatly isolated from the rest of the world.
The Brazilian government published an extra edition of the Official Gazette (DOU) on Thursday (19) in which it determines the closure of the borders with Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, French Guiana; Guyana, Paraguay, Peru and Suriname. Uruguay was left out of the restrictions imposed by the Brazilian government, and the Venezuela/Brazil border at Pacaraima had already been closed a few days ago.