Laundromat owner Jesus Vazquez pauses before closing his shop to comply with the government's curfew aimed at curbing the…
Laundromat owner Jesus Vazquez pauses before closing his San Juan, Puerto Rico, shop to comply with the government's coronavirus curfew on March 20.

The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is extending a two-week curfew to April 12 and warning residents that new restrictions are on the way to help curb coronavirus cases.

Gov. Wanda Vázquez said beginning Tuesday, nonessential workers will have to be home by 7 p.m., two hours earlier than the current curfew.

She also said vehicles with license plates ending in even numbers can only be on the road Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Vehicles with tags ending in odd numbers are only permitted to move about on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Vázquez said the new restrictions come in response to hundreds of people being cited for violating a curfew imposed nearly two weeks ago.

The leader of Puerto Rico's coronavirus task force, Dr. Segundo Rodríguez, estimates that there are more than 600 people infected on the island, with more than 60 already testing positive.

Authorities also reported two tourists on the island had died of the virus.

Meanwhile, there has been a shake-up in the territory’s health department over the handling of the coronavirus.

The governor Thursday announced appointment of Lorenzo González as Puerto Rico’s third health secretary in less than two weeks.  González was health secretary during the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic.  The move came hours after former health secretary Concepción Quiñones resigned for unclear reasons; her appointment followed the resignation of Rafael Rodríguez over complaints about the department’s handling of COVID-19.

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