SAN SALVADOR – A drive-in movie theater was set up in El Salvador’s capital city on Wednesday by local authorities as an entertainment alternative for Salvadorans in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is not letting up in the Central American country.
The activity is part of initiatives that the mayor’s office of San Salvador promoted as part of the festivities in honor of the Divine Savior of the World. The celebration takes place each year on Aug. 5.
Authorities will screen movies for seven consecutive nights and have set a limit of 100 vehicles with a maximum of four occupants each.
“We are aware of the difficult moments in the country. It is necessary to carry out activities like this and thus promote well-being among families,” said San Salvador Mayor Ernesto Muyshondt.
All entertainment venues, such as cinemas and theaters, are closed in accordance with the government’s orders and their reopening is part of the last stages of a de-escalation plan that has stalled due to an increase in infections.
The COVID-19 epidemic, the contagion curve of which is “practically uncontrollable,” according to President Nayib Bukele, did not allow for rides and fairs to be set up during these dates.
Religious activities, which each year attract thousands of Salvadorans into the streets of the capital’s historic center, were also almost entirely suspended.
As an alternative, the Catholic church broadcast through their own media and on social networks the 2019 recording of the traditional procession of Jesus’ transfiguration, popularly called “la bajada.”
The Central American country again broke its record of daily cases on Tuesday with 439. This figure raised the total of confirmed cases to 18,701, of which 498 have died and 509 are in critical condition.
However, local media indicated that the burials of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases reached 2,272 on July 8.
San Salvador is the epicenter of COVID-19 in El Salvador with 2,415 confirmed cases, representing approximately 13 percent of total infections in the country.
The Divine Savior of the World festival is the most important and generates the most tourism activities in El Salvador, where government activity has been halted between Aug. 1-6, while the private sector followed on Aug. 3, 5 and 6.
The Ministry of Tourism predicts that by the end of 2020, the hit to this sector due to the epidemic will represent a loss of $1.1 billion, while the number of visitors will fall by 1.8 million.