We Puerto Ricans will overcome together the pandemic of the new strain of the coronavirus that is also threatening our island, responding responsibly to the health measures that authorities, families and social institutions have implemented and that will have to be adjusted along the way to successfully fight this global challenge.

An essential step in forging an effective shield against the spread of COVID-19 is to provide comprehensive and detailed information on this health challenge. Well-informed citizens will be able to take wise preventive actions avoiding risks and protecting their health and of their families.

GFR Media is a proud member of the journalistic community in Puerto Rico and we all recognize the greater responsibility that each social sector should assume to protect our people. By reaffirming, once again, the mission of serving Puerto Rico with tenacity, the Puerto Rican media affirms today and always, on the same cover and in the same headline that #estevirusloparamosunidos (#westopthisvirusunited).

We thus stress on our clear commitment to publishing without delay and in the broadest manner, reliable information that helps our people to properly protect themselves. By sharing accurate information from experts in the medical and scientific fields who are addressing and studying the emergency, radio, television, print and online media, supported by all the platforms that the digital age provides, we are joining the crucial mission of fighting the pandemic. Communicating clear and accurate information about this challenge helps to save lives.

In turn, the government must provide transparent information to foster trust and credibility in its actions. This includes expediting tests for people with symptoms associated with COVID-19. This is an essential step to provide the best possible treatment for patients and to adjust the health policy seeking to curb the spread.

It will certainly be a significant step forward if tests can be widely performed throughout the island. In this sense, it seems convenient to implement outpatient tests in the short term, with certified clinical laboratory technicians, with the proper protections, assisting citizens in their respective vehicles.

Puerto Rico hopes that laboratories that have initiated the procedures to perform the tests here will soon be authorized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to correct delays in the handling and results of the tests. The delay has generated concerns since March 13, when the government confirmed the first three positive cases on the island.

The government is responsible for strengthening guidance for citizens to maintain social distancing by complying with the curfew and to intensify prevention through health measures. The government must have a tone seeking to promote citizens' awareness and cooperation.

The experience in managing COVID-19 may lead state and federal authorities to implement new health initiatives to control this extraordinary threat.

Our doctors and the entire group of health professionals who are working hard to battle the virus, along with a committed team of public servants, are doing invaluable and courageous work, worthy of the utmost respect and praise. This team requires the support of all the components of our society with all the adjustments to our social behavior that this serious emergency imposes.

The moment demands the island's maximum multi-sectoral effort. Complying with the curfew and other social distancing measures are part of the temporary sacrifice that will result in the collective well-being and the health and peace that Puerto Rico deserves.

Solidarity is essential to protect our lives and that of all our brothers and sisters. We stop this virus united.

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