Puerto Rico activates National Guard amid coronavirus, stops large gatherings

The governor of Puerto Rico declared a state of emergency Thursday and activated the National Guard to screen passengers arriving at the island's airports for coronavirus symptoms.

Gov. Wanda Vazquez Garced made the declaration during a press conference.

"The National Guard is activated at all airports to have a screening by the National Guard medical unit," she told reporters.

The U.S. island territory does not have any confirmed coronavirus cases, but measures to combat the illness are being enacted nonetheless as it continues to spread worldwide.

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In addition to the airport screenings, Vazquez Garced ordered all events with large gatherings scheduled through March 31 to be postponed or canceled. She also voiced frustration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a lack of expediency of test results for people suspected of having contracted the virus.

“We have had a serious conversation with the CDC. … It is unacceptable that the CDC continues to delay. As governor, I demand that the CDC resolve this situation as soon as possible,” she said, according to Caribbean Business.

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“The CDC told us that it received the tests on Tuesday morning and they began to process them, so today the 48 hours are met. [At the CDC] they committed to making the results available tonight or tomorrow," said Health Secretary Rafael Rodríguez.

Puerto Rico is slated to receive $5.8 million in federal funds to combat the virus, according to CDC figures.