Coronavirus
Classrooms are now empty in states where schools have shut down. Classrooms are now empty in states where schools have shut down.

93 cases of coronavirus confirmed; efforts to avoid infection stepped up

Stage 2 of the Covid-19 outbreak could start next week, disease control experts stated

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The federal Health Ministry announced 11 new confirmed cases of coronavirus Covid-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases in Mexico to 93.

The ministry also said that there are 206 suspected cases and that 672 people have now tested negative for the infectious disease.

With 21 confirmed cases of Covid-19, Mexico City has the highest number of cases among Mexico’s 32 federal entities. Campeche is the only state that has not reported a confirmed or suspected case of the new coronavirus.

Health Ministry Director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomia told a press conference Tuesday night that 12% of the people confirmed to have Covid-19 are in the hospital while the rest are recovering in isolation at home. Two patients are in serious condition, he said.

According to Health Ministry data, the youngest person confirmed to be infected with Covid-19 is 18 and the oldest is 80.

Churches have been urged to cancel Mass.
Churches have been urged to cancel Mass.

A total of 373 people have been identified as having had contact with confirmed coronavirus cases, of whom 91% have no symptoms of the disease. Of the 9% with symptoms, nine people tested positive for Covid-19.

Ruy López Ridaura, director of the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control Programs, said that Mexico has not yet entered a stage of community transmission of coronavirus but is transitioning toward it. He and Alomia both said that the so-called stage 2 of the Covid-19 outbreak could start next week.

With a widespread outbreak of the disease apparently on the horizon, more and more Mexicans are taking preventative measures to avoid infection with Covid-19, which had sickened more than 201,000 people around the world and killed more than 8,200 as of Wednesday morning.

According to a report by the newspaper El Financiero, waitstaff and street sweepers are among those protecting themselves by wearing face masks and using anti-bacterial gel to disinfect their hands, while mothers on the streets of Mexico City are urging their children to wash their hands thoroughly when they get home.

Tertiary educational institutes such as the National Autonomous University and Tec. de Monterrey have announced the suspension of classes, and the Ministry of Public Education took the decision to send the nation’s school students on Easter holidays on March 20, two weeks earlier than scheduled.

The governments of at least 10 states, however, decided to ignore the directive and suspended classes on Tuesday.

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A range of other decisions have been taken as part of efforts aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19.

The Mexico City government has suspended events that bring together more than 1,000 people, the Mexican Football Federation has canceled national soccer league matches, banks are limiting the number of customers they allow in at the same time and Nuevo León Governor Jaime Rodríguez announced the closure of casinos and movie theaters in Monterrey.

Casinos, nightclubs, bars and cantinas in Jalisco that regularly attract crowds of more than 50 will also temporarily close and many companies are ordering their employees to work from home.

Authorities in Yucatán and Guerrero have announced that they will temporarily close archaeological sites, El Financiero reported, and beaches in Tamaulipas, Sonora and Tabasco will close in response to the public health crisis.

The Catholic Church has recommended the suspension of Mass, suggesting that services could be streamed via the internet to a virtual congregation in people’s homes, while the Passion Play of Iztapalapa, a reenactment of the last hours of the life of Jesus Christ held annually on Good Friday in Mexico City, will go ahead as planned but without spectators.

Meanwhile, President López Obrador, who has been criticized for greeting his supporters with hugs and kisses despite the government’s “social distancing” advice, continues to hold his regular news conferences even though they attract significant numbers of reporters to the National Palace every weekday morning.

The president said on Wednesday that the main focus of his mañanera, or morning press conference, both today and tomorrow would be to provide an update on construction of the new Mexico City airport that is being built on an air force base approximately 50 kilometers north of the capital.

Source: Reforma (sp), El Financiero (sp) 

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