Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat has called on residents of the southern state to participate in a voluntary 10-day lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
In a video posted to social media on Sunday, Murat urged citizens to undertake “voluntary confinement” from 12:01 a.m. on Monday to 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29.
His stay-at-home advice came a day before the coronavirus infection risk in Oaxaca switched from “red light” maximum to “orange light” high, according to the federal government’s “stoplight” map.
Murat said that both Covid-19 case numbers and deaths have increased considerably in the past two weeks, especially in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region and the Papaloapan basin area in the state’s north.
The governor directed a sharp rebuke at “some citizens” who, “against all principles of preservation of health and life,” have participated in “all kinds of celebrations” and attended large events.
“This cannot continue,” Murat said sternly while wagging his finger ominously. “I ask you once again to take care of yourself because taking care of yourself you look after all of us.”
After calling for a voluntary lockdown, Murat said that his administration was collaborating with municipal and federal authorities to implement urgent coronavirus containment and mitigation measures in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and Papaloapan basin regions.
He also reminded Oaxaca residents that wearing a face mask in public spaces remains mandatory in the entire state, adding that authorities will be particularly vigilant in ensuring that the rule is followed in municipalities in the Isthmus and Papaloapan regions.
“This disease exists, it’s among us and it has no cure. Only you can stop it. I reiterate, don’t leave your home if you don’t have a reason to go out and step up the prevention measures. We’re going to take care of ourselves and we’re going to take care of others,” Murat said.
Also on Sunday, the municipal government of Juchitán, the Isthmus of Tehunatepc’s main hub, announced the closure of all businesses for five days due to the increase in Covid-19 cases and deaths.
Mayor Emilio Montero Pérez said the closure of all commercial establishments starting Monday was an urgently needed measure. He said the National Guard and municipal and state police will ensure that the shutdown order is strictly observed.
“In the face of the obvious increase in infections and deaths caused by the coronavirus, it’s not the time to look for people to blame but for each of us to do our part” to stop the virus’s spread, Montero said.
The mayor added that the five-day closure of businesses could be extended if case numbers continue to grow.
“Let’s forget all our differences, let’s apply the preventative measures, the protocols. … Let’s do it for Juchitán,” he said.
Juchitán has officially recorded 121 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 21 fatalities but municipal authorities claim that at least 82 people have lost their lives to the infectious disease.
Oaxaca has recorded 8,704 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic, the 15th highest tally among Mexico’s 32 states. Just over a quarter of the cases – 2,249 – were detected in Oaxaca city.
The southern state has also recorded 824 confirmed Covid-19 fatalities, according to state data.
Source: La Jornada (sp)