On Thursday, the U.S. stock market closed its worst single-day decline since the 1987 market crash. The S&P 500 index decreased 9.5 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell just under 10 percent, even as the U.S. government works to calm investor’s concerns. The day had a rough start with stocks falling more than seven percent, following President Donald Trump’s Wednesday night address on the coronavirus. President Trump announced a ban on most travel from Europe for the next 30 days, listed a series of economic relief actions to help workers and small businesses, and suggested a ban on European trade and goods—although the government has since clarified there won’t be a ban on trade.
The World Health Organization (WHO) officially classified the coronavirus as a pandemic, having killed over 4,000 people globally and entered at least 114 countries. Latin American countries hit by coronavirus are taking major precautions, although at varying degrees, as the number of cases rises above 140 in the region. In Peru, President Martín Vizcarra delayed the start of the school year and imposed quarantines on travelers arriving from the countries that have been most affected by the virus. Similar quarantines were also announced in Argentina and Colombia. One country that has yet to be affected is El Salvador. Having taken extreme measures—announcing a national quarantine, closing schools for three weeks, and barring foreigners from entering the country—President Nayib Bukele has been ahead of the curb in reacting to the virus.