A range of high-profile figures in Jalisco have called on citizens to redouble efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Jalisco is currently one of 10 states painted maximum risk red on the federal government coronavirus stoplight map. The western Mexico state has recorded more than 181,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 7,807 Covid-19 deaths (including more than 1,600 this month), according to state government data. The federal Health Ministry estimates that there are more than 4,600 active cases in Jalisco.
In light of the situation, University of Guadalajara rector Ricardo Villanueva Lomelí called on all Jalisco citizens to do their part to help stop the virus.
“The measures that each of us takes are more important than the decisions of the authorities,” he told the newspaper Informador.
Other influential figures who spoke with the Guadalajara-based newspaper offered similar advice.
Luis Arriaga Valenzuela, head of Guadalajara’s ITESO university, said that citizens need to empathize with families who have lost ones due to the pandemic as well as health workers when thinking about what they can do to prevent the spread of the virus.
Guadalajara Archbishop Francisco Robles Ortega said that all citizens have to “face up to this moment with a lot of responsibility.”
He said it is worrying that some people are stockpiling essential medical supplies such as oxygen and criticized those who have sought to politicize the application of limited Covid-19 vaccines.
Guadalajara Mayor Ismael del Toro called on citizens to be aware of their individual responsibility in the fight against Covid-19, asserting that “the only way” the virus will be defeated is if people “understand the risk of not respecting the [health] measures.”
Yannick Nordín Servín, the Jalisco health system’s director of emergencies, called on citizens to be aware that hospitals will be overwhelmed if they don’t follow the restrictions in place.
Only 52% of general care beds and 49% of those with ventilators are currently occupied in Jalisco, according to federal data, but Villanueva, the University of Guadalajara rector, said that some hospitals have reached capacity.
He also said that if case numbers and hospitalizations continue to rise at the rate seen at the end of December and in the first weeks of January, the health system will reach its limit in February.
While there are beds available for new coronavirus patients now, the hospital situation could quickly become critical if case numbers continue to rise, Nordín warned.
“Nothing will separate us from what the Italians, Spanish and New Yorkers experienced,” the health official said. “Please follow the recommendations – wash your hands, use masks and don’t go out more than what is essential.”
“It’s clear that the best demonstration of love right now is [social] distancing,” Villanueva said. “We all have to take steps [to stop the spread of the virus.”
In other Covid news:
• Eight hotels in Jalisco are currently for sale because they are unable to pay their debts as a result of the downturn in travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, the newspaper El Universal reported. Two of the hotels are in Guadalajara, five are in Puerto Vallarta and one is in Barra de Navidad, a small coastal town just north of the border with Colima.
• Scores of businesses have been forced to close permanently in Guanajuato, where red light restrictions are currently in place. Among the businesses that have recently had to shut for good are five-star hotels, fine-dining restaurants, stores that sold well-known fashion brands and numerous small shops, El Universal reported. León, Celaya, Salamanca and Irapuato are among the cities where businesses have been shuttered due to the pandemic-induced economic downturn.
• Another victim of the pandemic is a well-known cafe/restaurant in Mérida, Yucatán. The owners of Moncho, an establishment frequented by politicians, local officials, journalists and other citizens for almost 45 years, decided to close their two branches due to financial reasons related to the coronavirus crisis. The president of the Yucatán branch of the national restaurant association Canirac said that 2,700 eateries in the state have closed for reasons related to the pandemic.
• The annual nudist festival in Zipolite, Oaxaca, has been canceled on orders from state health authorities. The Zipolite beach will remain open during the dates the festival was to be staged – January 29 to February 1 – but no official events will be held, the organizers said in a statement. The announcement comes two weeks after organizers said the festival, which attracted some 8,000 nudists last year, would go ahead despite Covid-19.
• Authorities in San Pedro Mixtepec, a municipality in Oaxaca where the resort town of Puerto Escondido is located, have extended for 90 days an ordinance that makes the use of face masks mandatory. Anyone caught not wearing a mask in a public place is subject to a 150-peso (US $7.50) fine, an order to complete community work or even imprisonment, a fate that befell a foreign visitor to Puerto Escondido last October.
• Family members of coronavirus patients receiving treatment at the Acapulco General Hospital have accused health workers of reselling medicines they bought for their sick loved ones. They also say that they receive scant information about the condition of their ill family members, some of whom have been in the hospital for almost a month.
• The newspaper Milenio reported that a wedding with more than 600 guests, a large 15th birthday party and cock fights were held in different parts of the state of Veracruz over the weekend in defiance of coronavirus restrictions. Veracruz is currently orange light high risk on the stoplight map. The Gulf coast state has recorded almost 49,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 6,800 deaths, according to state government data.
• Mexico’s accumulated case tally is currently 1.76 million and its Covid-19 death toll is 149,614. President López Obrador announced Sunday that he had tested positive for Covid-19. His symptoms are said to be mild.