An empty restaurant in Mazatlán. The mayor wants to fill those seats for Mother's Day on Sunday. An empty restaurant in Mazatlán. The mayor wants to fill those seats for Mother's Day on Sunday.

Mazatlán says restaurants can reopen; state warns it’s too early

The reopening would allow restaurants to operate at 40% capacity, just in time for Mother's Day

The mayor of Mazatlán, Sinaloa, announced that the city’s restaurants will open with limited capacity on Sunday, sparking criticism and warnings from state health officials who say it’s still too early for such a move.

Mayor Luis Guillermo Benítez Torres wants eateries to open at 40% capacity so that families can celebrate Mother’s Day, but the state Health Ministry warned him that there are still too many active cases in the city to do so safely.

Of the 612 active cases of Covid-19 in Sinaloa, 83 are in Mazatlán, the location with the third highest number of cases in the state.

Benítez argued that municipal governments are autonomous, but state Health Minister Efrén Encinas Torres said that mayors are obliged to obey the nationwide preventative measures that are based on state and federal health laws.

He warned the mayor against the move, citing the severity of the crisis and the risks of not continuing to observe physical distancing measures.

A similar argument played out between state authorities in Nuevo León and the mayor of San Pedro Garza García, Miguel Treviño, who reinitiated public works projects in the municipality on Thursday.

Governor Jaime Rodríguez said that even the president is bound to abide by the federal mitigation measures, which clearly define essential and nonessential activities.

That state’s health minister, Manuel de la O Cavazos, expressed his preoccupation for the situation in Nuevo León, where Covid-19 cases “filled up a hospital” in a single day after 89 people were hospitalized Wednesday. That number was topped on Thursday, when 141 cases were admitted to medical centers in the state.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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