President López Obrador on Friday ruled out any possibility of implementing “draconian measures” to contain the spread of Covid-19 but said that the government will consider banning alcohol sales.
Speaking at his regular news conference, López Obrador said his administration wasn’t considering imposing a curfew or any other “authoritarian” measures as part of efforts to limit the coronavirus outbreak.
There won’t be any “draconian measures” of “questionable effectiveness,” he said.
With regard to the possibility of enforcing a nationwide ley seca, or dry law, that bans alcohol sales, López Obrador said that it will be up to health officials to make a decision.
“[The specialists] have to look at it because there has been controversy about this. In the case of Mexico City, it was decided not to impose the so-called dry law. In other states where it has been established there is a little bit of protest but the governors are listening to the people,” he said.
“[The decision] corresponds to [the government’s] medical team; they’re very good, they could say the consumption of alcoholic beverages is not appropriate under these conditions,” López Obrador said.
Tabasco is the only state to have decreed a dry law due to the coronavirus pandemic but Sonora, Campeche and Quintana Roo have restricted alcohol sales to certain hours.
Nuevo León Governor Jaime Rodríguez Calderón appeared to announce a prohibition on alcohol sales at a press conference on Thursday but quickly clarified that his government was not planning to implement a dry law. Nevertheless, the governor’s initial remarks triggered panic buying of alcohol in the northern state.
López Obrador pointed out that the panic buying in Nuevo León caused people to gather together and in doing so violate the government’s “healthy distance” recommendations.
Although some Mexicans are not strictly observing the directive to keep their distance from each other, the president expressed confidence that the number of Covid-19 cases reported on a daily basis will soon decrease.
“It can’t be said that the aim of flattening the famous [epidemic] curve has already been achieved but we’ll be able to do it in a few more days,” he said.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell also said this week that social distancing measures should soon result in a decrease of the number of coronavirus cases reported daily.
The government declared a health emergency on Monday that suspended all non-essential activities until April 30 as the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Mexico passed 1,000.
More than 400 additional cases were reported over the next three days, taking the total number of cases in the country to 1,510. As of Thursday, 50 people in more than 20 states had died of the disease that was first detected in Wuhan, China, in late 2019.