The behavior of Mexicans in response to the coronavirus crisis is setting an example for the world, President López Obrador said on Saturday.
“I want to thank the people a lot, all Mexicans; the behavior of the majority of Mexicans, the vast majority, is really exemplary because you’re following the [social distancing] recommendations to the letter – not going out, staying at home, looking after ourselves, keeping a healthy distance,” he said in a video message posted to social media.
López Obrador said that Guerrero Governor Héctor Astudillo told him that the beaches of Acapulco were empty on Good Friday and Easter Saturday, adding “here in Mexico City, [people’s] movement is minimal and I have reports like this from the whole country.”
Things “are going well for us, despite everything.”
However, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said on Saturday that social distancing recommendations “are not being respected by everyone” and called on state governments to help enforce the measures.
“In some states we are seeing progress … but above all in the northern area of the country there are many factories still operating …” Businesses not engaged in essential activities were supposed to close during the month-long emergency period that comes to an end April 30.
The “most important thing” for now, the president said, is to overcome the health crisis. Confronting the economic crisis will come later, he added.
“Have confidence that we’re doing things in a professional manner, with a lot of responsibility to protect our people. The main aim is to save lives, … the economic recovery will come later,” López Obrador said.
“Mexico has a lot of strengths, … it is being revealed that we have united, fraternal families. … This great institution, the Mexican family [is] the most important social security institute in the country. [We have] exemplary people, we’re providing a lesson to the world with our behavior,” he said.
“I know it is a sacrifice [to stay at home] but this is going to give us good results, we’re going to save lives. Those who lose their lives are not numbers; any human who loses his or her life should pain us,” López Obrador said.
Without any qualifications to his claim, the president said that Mexico is among the 10 countries with the fewest Covid-19 cases and coronavirus-related deaths, an assertion that is incorrect on both counts.
Among around 180 countries with at least one case of Covid-19, Mexico had the 37th highest number on Monday morning, according to data complied by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The Sunday tally of 296 deaths placed Mexico below just 23 other countries in terms of fatalities.
López Obrador’s claim that people’s movement is minimal is also misleading. Hordes of people descended on seafood markets including the Nueva Viga market in Mexico City and the Mextepec market near Toluca, México state, on Good Friday, while some citizens didn’t heed the call not to travel over the Easter weekend.
There was an exodus of Guadalajara residents to the coastal resort city of Puerto Vallarta, the newspaper Milenio reported, while many Mexico City dwellers traveled to the state of Morelos, causing some towns to erect blockades to prevent entry.
Source: Milenio (sp)