A rise in cases and deaths from COVID-19 in Brazil has spooked neighboring countries, resulting in the National Army of Colombia to bolster forces along Brazil–Colombia border, reported Bloomberg.
Johns Hopkins University reported the South American country had more than 188,000 cases and 13,000 fatalities on Thursday afternoon. The fast-spreading virus is ravaging the country's favelas, something we warned about in late March.
Brazil leads BRIC countries in terms of virus deaths
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's virus response has backfired, due mostly because his administration is concentrated on reopening the economy rather than flattening the curve.
Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez has had no other choice than increase military presence on its Amazon border that is shared with Brazil and Peru, a move that will hopefully prevent virus carriers from entering the country.
"The decision has been made to militarize, with more presence, all the border points and exercise the respective control to prevent imported cases of floating populations from arriving," President Duque said Tuesday.
Brazil has transformed into the epicenter of the pandemic in South America. It has the sixth-highest number of infections and deaths globally. On the continent, second to Brazil is Peru, which has more than 76,000 cases and nearly 2,200 fatalities.
Paraguay President Abdo Benitez warned last week that the virus situation in Brazil is deteriorating. He deployed military personnel to Brazil–Paraguay border and enforced checkpoints.
"Brazil is perhaps the place where there is today the greatest spread of coronavirus in the world, and that is a great threat to our country," Benitez said. "We have to understand that this is a huge threat to the entire effort that the Paraguayan people have been making."
Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez has also expressed concern and recently said Brazil represents a threat to South America.
Scenes of Heavily armed Colombian troops patrolling Brazil–Colombia border.
VIDEO: Colombia will increase its military presence on the Amazon border, which it shares with Brazil and Peru, to prevent the spread of imported cases of coronavirus from floating populations pic.twitter.com/nqY52tQhvw— AFP news agency (@AFP) May 14, 2020