WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf announced on Thursday (July 16) that borders with Mexico and Canada would remained shut to most travel to stem to spread of the coronavirus for another month, to Aug 20.
Confirming reports days earlier from Canada that Washington had renewed the four-month-old shutdown, Wolf said the decision represented the success of collaboration on the Covid-19 pandemic.
But it also comes as new US confirmed infections hit a record 67,632 on Wednesday and deaths surpassed 137,000, underscoring the failure of the US government to get the disease under control.
“Based on the success of the existing restrictions and close collaboration with Mexico and Canada, @DHSgov will continue to limit non-essential travel at our land ports of entry with Canada and Mexico until Aug 20,” Wolf said in a tweet.
“Close collaboration with our neighbors has allowed us to respond to #Covid19 in a North American approach and slow the travel-related spread of the virus,” he said.
In Canada, the leaders of several provinces had spoken out against reopening the border with the United States due to its surge in cases.
Canada has recorded more than 8,800 deaths and more than 108,000 cases, while Mexican cases have topped 317,000 and the number of deaths is nearing 37,000.
The US Centres for Disease Control has been tasked to review the situation in the three countries every 30 days to see if conditions have improved enough to open the borders.
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