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Coronavirus Forces Brazil to Seal Borders as Region Struggles to Control Pandemic

March 19, 2020

Brazil closed its borders with eight neighboring countries on Thursday, joining other South American nations in a continentwide quarantine as authorities struggle to control the spread of the coronavirus.

The measure taken by Brazil, the region's largest economy, applies to Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Guyana and the French overseas department of Guiana. Brazil's border with Venezuela was already closed. The border with Uruguay remains open for now

Brazil has a total of about 10,000 miles of land borders with its neighbors, and all but about 650 miles of them, with Uruguay, are now closed.

In recent days, countries across the region have quickly moved to seal national borders as coronavirus cases rise, leaving thousands of travelers stranded. And the downturn in China has drawn fears of a protracted slowdown for South America's largely commodities-driven economies and a tougher rebound...

"South America was caught flat-footed, and now they're trying to catch up," said Eric Farnsworth, who tracks the region for the Americas Society/Council of the Americas, a Washington-based policy group. "2020 was already going to be a year of sluggish growth. Now, the virus is clearly going to add downward pressure."...

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