Red light “maximum” risk coronavirus restrictions will apply in Durango starting Tuesday due to an increase in cases and Covid-19 deaths.
Governor José Rosas Aispuro announced the switch to red on the coronavirus stoplight system on Monday, explaining that the Durango government took the decision in conjunction with mayors and the federal Health Ministry.
“The state is recording an increase in positive cases and in the positivity [rate] in tests,” he said, adding that hospitals are facing greater demand for their services.
Durango is currently in the most critical phase of the pandemic, Rosas said.
The northern state has recorded 14,778 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic and 803 Covid-19 deaths, according to federal data. On a per capita basis, Durango has the highest number of active cases in the country with 112.1 per 100,000 residents.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell presented data Tuesday morning showing that case numbers have been on the rise in Durango since mid-September and spiked considerably in more recent weeks.
As a result of the worsening outbreak and consequent switch to red on the stoplight system, a range of stricter restrictions will take effect today and remain in place until at least November 17.
Rosas said there will be a blanket ban on the sale of alcohol and severe sanctions will apply to anyone found selling it clandestinely.
Only essential economic activities will be permitted for the next two weeks, the governor said, explaining that the automotive, mining, forestry, energy and construction sectors can continue operating with strict health protocols.
He also said that supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, restaurants and hotels can operate but at reduced capacity. Supermarkets are permitted to operate with 50% of their normal customer levels while restaurants can open at 25% capacity.
All places of worship in Durango must remain closed for the next two weeks and weddings are not permitted. Town squares, gyms, public swimming pools and sports centers are also required to close.
Parties and other large gatherings at both public venues and homes are banned and anyone found organizing and/or attending such events will face sanctions.
Public transit will continue operating but capacity is limited to 50% and health protocols will apply. Taxis and private vehicles are limited to carrying a maximum of three people including the driver.
Rosas also said that Durango residents should not leave their homes for nonessential purposes between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Police will carry out patrols to ensure compliance with the rule.
With Durango’s switch to red on the coronavirus stoplight map, there are now two states at the “maximum” risk level. The other is Chihuahua, which regressed to red in late October.
The federal Health Ministry warned October 23 that Coahuila, Durango and Nuevo León were all at risk of turning red due to their growing coronavirus outbreaks.
Coronavirus case numbers have also increased nationally in recent weeks. October was the second worst month for coronavirus cases in Mexico since the start of the pandemic, with more than 181,000 new cases reported.
López-Gatell said late last month that there were “early signs” of a new wave of infections but other experts highlighted that Mexico never really controlled the first wave of cases.
Meanwhile, the country continues to move steadily toward an official case tally of 1 million and a Covid-19 death toll of 100,000.
The Health Ministry reported 3,763 new cases on Monday, increasing the accumulated tally to 933,155, and 205 additional fatalities, lifting the official death toll to 92,100.