Fifteen percent of businesses in Mexico have not complied with the order to close due to the coronavirus emergency and will be shut down by the authorities, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the Health Ministry’s nightly coronavirus press briefing, López-Gatell said that 50% of businesses immediately followed the instruction to close, 17% did so after being warned by the government while 15% have continued to operate despite receiving a warning.
The other 18% of companies are considered essential and were allowed to continue operating during the health emergency period declared by the government on March 30.
Of the 15% of companies that have refused to shut, 26% are in the automotive sector, 21% sell or distribute nonessential products, 18% are in the textile industry and 9% are in the lumber industry, López-Gatell said. The other 26% of companies that have not yet closed work across a range of sectors including aerospace, construction and tobacco.
The states with the largest number of companies that have not complied with the closure order are Jalisco, México state, Michoacán, Veracruz, Nayarit, Puebla, Mexico City, Baja California, Aguascalientes, Hidalgo and Guanajuato.
“There is not adequate compliance by a large number of private companies,” López-Gatell said, emphasizing that the employers rather than the workers are to blame.
He said that the non-compliant companies will be shut down and that law enforcement authorities will carry out investigations to determine if they have committed a crime. The refusal to close could cost people lives, López-Gatell said.
The deputy minister reported earlier in the news conference that the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 had increased by 448 to 5,847 and that the coronavirus death toll had risen by 43 to 449.
The number of confirmed cases increased by 84% in the week between April 8 and 15 while deaths surged 158% from 174 to 449.
López-Gatell also said that there are 11,717 suspected cases of the disease and that 42,702 people have now been tested for the novel coronavirus, which has now infected more than 2 million people around the world and claimed the lives of almost 140,000, according to official counts.
Approximately 39% of the almost 6,000 people confirmed to have Covid-19 in Mexico have now recovered, he said.
Mexico City continues to have the highest number of confirmed cases with 1,686, followed by México state and Baja California, where there are 659 and 464 cases, respectively.
Sinaloa, Puebla, Quintana Roo and Tabasco all have more than 200 cases while each of Coahuila, Jalisco, Baja California Sur, Nuevo León, Yucatán and Veracruz has more than 100.
Colima still only has seven confirmed cases of Covid-19 and is the only state that has not recorded a death from the disease. Durango, Zacatecas, Nayarit, Campeche and Chiapas all have fewer than 50 coronavirus cases while Oaxaca has exactly that number.
Mexico City has recorded the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths, with 99, followed by México state, Sinaloa, Puebla and Baja California, where 43, 38, 31 and 28 Covid-19 patients, respectively, have died.
Mexico’s overall fatality rate is 7.7 per 100 Covid-19 cases – the highest rate in Latin America, according to World Health Organization data – but among patients aged 60 or older it is 17.4.
López-Gatell said Tuesday that Mexico will enter phase three of the coronavirus pandemic in a matter of days, while he said Thursday morning that the government’s social distancing initiative will be extended by an extra month to May 30.
Source: Milenio (sp)