• The Star Staff

House hopeful calls for immediate gov’t action on rise in COVID-19 cases



By John McPhaul

jpmcphaul@gmail.com


Given the increase in positive cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations due to coronavirus infections, the former head of the Public Housing Administration, Gabriel López Arrieta, called on the central government on Tuesday to acknowledge what he called “a path to lack of control” and requested preventive and immediate action in particular from the secretaries of Health, Housing and Education.


“The numbers are in front of all of us, the increase in infections. Having 204 new cases shows that the reopening of certain sectors and the lack of discipline of many citizens will cause us problems,” López Arrieta said in a written statement.


The Popular Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the House of Representatives also suggested to Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced not to wait until July 15 to amend the executive order related to the pandemic to reassert physical distancing controls and avoid a public health catastrophe in Puerto Rico.


“According to the president of the Medical Association, Dr. Víctor Ramos, the next few days will be critical to establish whether the increase in coronavirus cases on the island is an indication of a new rise in infections as has occurred in other jurisdictions,” López Arrieta said. “We have already seen how in public places (this past weekend in Boquerón, for example), large numbers of citizens are gathering without due precautions. Already in the state of Florida, with whom we share a number of daily flights, [authorities have] had to resume control measures in the face of the pandemic, so what are we waiting for, that cases will increase and we put the lives of thousands of people at risk?”


Regarding the airport, the PDP candidate said that “despite the alleged controls that were being carried out, everything instead was a promise that was never fulfilled and there are many cases of people arriving on the island and they don’t even take their temperature.”


In particular, López Arrieta requested that the island Education (DE) secretary not wait any longer to present a plan for the next school semester.


“Although the governor has mentioned that she prefers face-to-face classes in the country’s public schools, are we ready in the DE for that or are we jumping into the void and causing a dizzying increase in cases of COVID-19 in children, youth and adults who work in schools?,” he said. “In the same way, the components of Health and Housing must fulfill their obligation.”

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