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Puerto Rico extends lockdown to mid-April

Puerto Rico extends lockdown to mid-April

Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced announced Thursday that the island’s lockdown would be extended by an additional two weeks. 

The governor issued a two-week lockdown order starting March 15, but decided to extend it until April 12 as the U.S. territory of over 3.2 million people continues to see an increase in cases. The new order also extends the curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m to 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The island currently has 316 confirmed cases and 12 deaths, the governor reported, adding that her medical task force projects “a potential exponential increase in contagion and positive cases if individuals don’t observe social distancing, and the government lifts the lockdown.”

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“In an unprecedented act, the governor has extended the lockdown, and thus far, it is the jurisdiction that has the most aggressive measures in the Nation as the U.S. continues to weather this pandemic. We will continue to lead by example and take the necessary initiatives to combat this pandemic," said Jennifer Storipan, the executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Commission.

Puerto Rico, which has taken comparably aggressive measures to combat the virus, announced on Wednesday the closure of a fifth police station in a week amid growing concerns about officers' exposure to the coronavirus. 

Vázquez told the Miami Herald that President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE made a mistake by not ordering a lockdown earlier.

“They didn’t want to close, thinking about the economy,” she said. “What did Trump say? ‘Let’s wait and see,’ and they didn’t shut down. What do you tell the people from New York or Florida or California who have lost so many family members?”

Puerto Rico is due to receive more than $3 billion appropriated by Congress as coronavirus relief, which is much more than other U.S. territories, but significantly less than U.S. states of similar populations.