A judge has ordered the federal government to take all necessary measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and detect people who have the infectious disease.
The Mexico City-based federal judge’s ruling on Thursday came in response to an injunction request filed by members of Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI), a civil society organization.
The MCCI members claimed that the government has failed to implement effective measures to avoid a widespread outbreak of Covid-19, which had sickened more than 233,000 people around the world and claimed the lives of close to 10,000 as of Thursday afternoon.
In accordance with the court order, President López Obrador, Health Minister Jorge Alcocer and Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell must inform the judge within 24 hours of the measures they will take to combat the spread of coronavirus and ensure that people have access to Covid-19 testing.
“Inaction and a lack of timely intervention” on the part of the government, the court order says, could result in a greater spread of Covid-19 in Mexico.
“The injunctive relief is granted,” the court order continues, to oblige the responsible authorities to take action against coronavirus “with the purpose of guaranteeing the human rights” of health and life.
If the government fails to inform the judge within 24 hours of the measures they will take to combat Covid-19, “a fine will be imposed on it,” the court order says.
López Obrador and his administration have been criticized for not doing more to combat the spread of coronavirus in Mexico, where the number of confirmed cases has increased from 12 on Wednesday last week to 118 on Wednesday of this week.
The president said Thursday that the government wouldn’t close airports or “shut down everything” due to the economic impact that would have on the poor.
“Of course we’re worried about the situation of the epidemic, and we have to attend to it, but we also have to act responsibly,” López Obrador said.
Rosa María del Angel, head of the Department of Infectomics and Molecular Pathogenesis at the National Polytechnic Institute, said that she was worried that Mexico will end up in a situation like Italy, “where measures weren’t taken on time, and the number of cases started to get away from them.”
Italy’s coronavirus death toll surpassed that of China on Thursday. Authorities in the European country said that 3,405 Covid-19 patients had died, the vast majority of whom had pre-existing medical conditions.
Source: El Universal (sp)