Haitians rush for supplies after first COVID-19 cases detected

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI — Haitians are rushing to buy food, gas, soap and face masks after the announcement of two imported cases of the coronavirus sparked worries that the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation could be overwhelmed by the illness.

Friday’s crush came a day after President Jovenel Moise said two patients have been quarantined after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus.

One is a 31-year-old Haitian who had just returned from Paris and the other is a Belgian volunteering in a Port-au-Prince orphanage.

Moise said the country was closing all airports, schools, factories and seaports.

The measure is designed to halt new cases of the virus, but health workers say it could prevent the arrival of important medical supplies and volunteer doctors and nurses.

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