COVID-19 pandemic in Guatemala

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached Guatemala in March 2020.

COVID-19 pandemic in Guatemala
Guatemala al 12 de abril de 2020 COVID-19.jpg
  1-9 Cases Reported
  10-99 Cases Reported
  100-999 Cases Reported
  +1000 Cases Reported
Cases by department (April 12), this was the last day the government issued a case report by department. From this date onwards cases were reported by region. Since May 11, cases have been reported on all Guatemalan departments[1]
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
First outbreakWuhan, China
Index caseGuatemala City
Arrival date13 March 2020
(2 months, 2 weeks and 1 day)
Confirmed cases3,954[2][3]
Active cases3,600
Government website


On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.[4][5] The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003,[6][7] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[8][6]

On January 31, president of Guatemala Alejandro Giammattei issued a prohibition for the arrival of visitors coming from the People's Republic of China due to the international concern for the outbreak that originatied in Wuhan.[9]

On February 25, the goverment implements safety procedures for travellers coming from high-risk countries who are entering Guatemala from any terrestrial, maritime or aereal transport. These countries include China, South Korea, Iran and every european country.


On 13 March 2020, the first case in Guatemala, a Guatemalan man who traveled from Italy to Guatemala, was confirmed.[10] The man arrived in Villa Nueva, a suburb of Guatemala City, along with two of his family members and five Salvadorans on an Aeroméxico flight.[citation needed]

Two days prior to the country's first case, the Guatemalan government banned entry to citizens of all European countries, Iran, China and South Korea, which was put into effect on 12 March.[11]

On 13 March 2020, the Guatemalan government extended its travel restrictions to travelers from the US and Canada.[12] Starting on 16 March, no travelers coming from these countries will be allowed to enter Guatemala, until March 31 (15 day quarantine is in place as of March 16).[citation needed]

On 15 March 2020, the Guatemalan government confirmed its second case and the first COVID-19 death in the country. an 85-year-old man who arrived from Madrid with his family nine days earlier.[13] The same day, the Guatemalan government cancels all public events and prohibits agglomerations of more than 100 people. All public and private schools and universities are to be closed for at least three weeks. Holy Week celebrations are also cancelled.[14]

On March 21, 2020, the Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei alongside its Vice-President and the Council Of Ministry declared a nationwide curfew and a global travel ban, in an effort to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and prevent the spreading of the virus.

On April 23, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights calls on Mexican and Central American governments to halt deportations during the coronavirus pandemic. 2,500 migrants are stuck in Panama because Honduras has closed its border. Mexico has dumped migrants in Guatemala, but Guatemala has not let them in. On April 23 the organization helped 41 migrants return to El Salvador from Mexico.[15]

On April 26, Mexico′s National Institute of Migration (INM) empties the 65 migrant detention centers it has across the country by returning 3,653 people to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras in the hope of preventing outbreaks of COVID-19.[16]

At least forty Mexican and Guatemalan farm workers in Canada have coronavirus, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union on May 2.[17]

On May 25, at least two hundred textile workers at the ′′K.P. Textil′′ plant in San Miguel Petapa tested positive for COVID-19. Nine cases were reported at the plant on May 12, but human rights groups complain that no action was taken at the time. Guatemala reported more than 3,300 confirmed infections and 58 deaths.[18]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Ultimo Departamento con Coronavirus" (in Spanish). Prensa Libre.
  2. ^ "Actualización de datos sobre casos de Coronavirus (Covid-19) en Guatemala" (in Spanish). Gobierno Guatemala @GuatemalaGob.
  3. ^ a b c "Coronavirus" (in Spanish). Ministerio de Salud Pública (Guatemala).
  4. ^ Elsevier. "Novel Coronavirus Information Center". Elsevier Connect. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  5. ^ Reynolds, Matt (4 March 2020). "What is coronavirus and how close is it to becoming a pandemic?". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Crunching the numbers for coronavirus". Imperial News. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  7. ^ "High consequence infectious diseases (HCID); Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  8. ^ "World Federation Of Societies of Anaesthesiologists – Coronavirus". Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Coronavirus: Guatemala prohíbe ingreso a personas procedentes de China" (in Spanish). PERSPECTIVA. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Coronavirus: Alejandro Giammattei confirma el primer caso de covid-19 en Guatemala". Prensa Libre (in Spanish). 13 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Guatemala to ban entry of Europeans, Chinese, others to keep out coronavirus". National Post. Reuters. 11 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Guatemala Bans Arrivals From U.S., Canada to Fight Corona-virus". U.S. News. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Ministerio de Salud Publica: Comunicado No. 36" (in Spanish). March 2020.
  14. ^ "Ministerio de Salud Publica: Comunicado No. 33" (in Spanish). March 2020.
  15. ^ News, A. B. C. "UN alarmed by migrants caught in no-man's land at borders". ABC News. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Mexico returns Central Americans, empties migrant centers". AP NEWS. 26 April 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Detectan a trabajadores agrícolas mexicanos con COVID-19 en Canadá". El Informador :: Noticias de Jalisco, México, Deportes & Entretenimiento (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  18. ^ News, A. B. C. "More than 200 COVID-19 infections at Guatemala textile plant". ABC News. Retrieved 26 May 2020.