Mexico’s well being officers say it is time to hold your distance. Starting Monday, individuals can be urged to keep up secure distances from each other and, if potential, work at home. Public faculties, which have been open by way of Friday, will stay closed till a minimum of April 20.
As of Saturday evening, Mexico’s Secretary of Well being reported 251 confirmed instances and two deaths from the coronavirus illness COVID-19. Some state and cities have already imposed stricter measures. On Sunday, Mexico Metropolis’s mayor introduced that bars, theaters and museums can be closed, additionally starting Monday.
Native officers, political opponents and newspaper columnists have criticized President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for not taking harder measures to cease the unfold of the coronavirus. A number of Central American international locations have closed their borders and stopped air site visitors from abroad. However Mexico remains to be permitting flights from the USA and Europe. On Friday, the U.S. and Mexico agreed to permit solely “important site visitors” throughout their shared land border. Cross-border commerce will proceed and employees will be capable to get to their jobs.
The federal government launched a cartoon character Saturday named “Susana Distancia.” The costumed superhero stretches out her arms to point out the gap one ought to hold from others. However till now, “social distancing” tips have been merely ideas and President López Obrador has continued to hug, shake arms and take selfies with supporters at authorities occasions. At a press convention final week, he appeared to make gentle of the coronavirus menace, digging non secular amulets out of his pocket that he referred to as “protecting shields.”
However in a nod to the rising criticism of his relaxed strategy, the occasions López Obrador held this weekend within the southern state of Oaxaca have been smaller.
His tone, nonetheless, was criticized for failing to convey urgency. “We have now to proceed working despite the specter of coronavirus,” he mentioned as he oversaw progress of building of a brand new freeway in Oaxaca on Saturday. “I consider we might be improper to panic, if we simply stopped and we did nothing,” he mentioned.
Sunday, López Obrador barely talked about the well being disaster as he spoke at one other freeway building undertaking. As he has previously, the president emphasised the heavy burden mass closures would place on Mexico’s poor. However he assured the gang Mexico might climate the disaster, pointing to its $10 billion money reserve. Though the Mexican peso has fallen sharply in latest days, now buying and selling at 24 to the U.S. greenback, López Obrador urged his nation’s central financial institution to not use its reserves to shore up the foreign money.
López Obrador struck an optimistic be aware: “If we proceed working with honesty, austerity and effectivity, we will confront the disaster and transfer forward,” he mentioned.
Copyright NPR 2020.