August 31, 2021 – 00:05
Guatemala City, Aug 30 (EFE) .- The Government of Guatemala announced this Monday the cancellation of the commemorative acts of the bicentennial of its independence from the Spanish crown, which will be held on September 15, due to the expansion of the covid- 19.
“All the celebrations are suspended (…) Due to the pandemic, they are canceled,” said the Minister of Culture and Sports, Felipe Aguilar, at a press conference in downtown Guatemala City.
The official explained that the cancellation is due to the health emergency caused by the covid-19 pandemic, which in recent weeks has worsened in the Central American nation.
The Guatemalan government had organized for months a series of activities to celebrate 200 years since the signing of its independence in 1821, with a budget of around nine million dollars.
The Ministry of Culture and Sports specified that the commemoration of the bicentennial will now take place virtually in an act with the participation of the country’s president, Alejandro Giammattei.
The celebration of the bicentennial had been criticized by several deputies in light of the situation that the country is experiencing with covid-19, such as opposition legislator Evelyn Morataya, who classified the commemoration as “waste” on her social networks, while “people are dying for lack of beds in public hospitals “.
Guatemala is in the third wave of covid-19 since last June 14, according to the Minister of Health, Amelia Flores, at that time.
The nation chaired by Giammattei accumulates 465,799 coronavirus infections and 11,886 deaths from the disease. Both figures are the highest in Central America.
Last week, the main Guatemalan hospitals reported that their capacity to treat seriously ill covid-19 patients had been overwhelmed.
According to official figures, 85 percent of the 340 municipalities in the country are at the highest alert level (red color) of the epidemiological traffic light that governs the activities of the population. EFE
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