March 16, 2020 / 7:14 AM / in 3 months

Coronavirus crackdown leaves Honduras in near lockdown

Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez is broadcasted on television screens in a restaurant during a message to the nation where he announces three new cases and new measures against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras March 15, 2020. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - The Honduras was in a state of near lockdown on Monday after the government decided to send public and private sector workers home, temporarily call off flights, and suspend public transport to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

The violent, impoverished Central American nation rolled out the measures late on Sunday in a bid to snuff out the virus which has so far infected six people in the country.

The measures will be in effect for seven days, the government said, bolstering a drive by a number of Central American countries to stop coronavirus. [L1N2B80JW]

Exceptions to the public sector suspensions include people working in healthcare, emergency services, security and national defense, customs, migration, ports and airports.

In the private sector, banks, hospitals, pharmaceutical firms, gas stations, freight operators and a few other sectors will continue to operate, the government said.

Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Editing by Kim Coghill

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