Salvadorans in government confinement protest coronavirus handling

Riot police contain people, who were detained for violating El Salvador's nationwide lockdown measures, as they protest after government authorities did not release them despite having served their mandatory quarantine at a detention center, as the government undertakes steadily stricter measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in San Salvador, El Salvador

At least 300 people held in two centers set up by the Salvadoran government to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus protested on Monday, demanding to be released and given the results of their tests.

El Salvador holds people accused of violating the mandatory home quarantine decreed by President Nayib Bukele in March even though the Supreme Court has since ordered him to not detain such people.

People in a sports center in the capital, San Salvador, said they had been in quarantine for more than 40 days; they also said they had been tested but did not get the results.

The Salvadoran government did not immediately respond to NYK Daily’s request for comment.

Pablo Perez, a 52-year-old farmer, who said he was detained for walking in the street, said people at the center were in good health. He added that people there were regularly checked by doctors.

Meanwhile, in a center set up in a parking lot of a Baptist church in the capital, another group of people took to the windows and terraces to denounce overcrowding, inadequate conditions and the lack of test results.

Riot police guarded the protests, witnesses said.

Last week, rights groups condemned Bukele after he released startling photos of hundreds of jailed gang members stripped to underwear and pressed together in formation, part of a punishment for an outbreak of violence.

El Salvador, which has reported 13 deaths and 555 confirmed cases, has 91 containment centers; 3,964 people are quarantined there, according to an official data.

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