Mexico City government workers won’t return to offices in October as planned, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said Monday.
She also said that private offices are being told to remain closed as part of efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
“We’re going to postpone the return to both public and private offices in Mexico City to avoid infections. In the case of public offices it had been established that [the return would be in] October but we’re postponing it,” Sheinbaum told a virtual press conference.
The mayor said that a new tentative opening date will be announced in the coming days.
She noted that offices, schools, nightclubs and bars are the only establishments that haven’t been permitted to reopen after they were told to close in late March. However, bars are currently allowed to operate at reduced capacity provided they offer table service and food to patrons.
Despite the reactivation of most sectors of the economy, Sheinbaum said there haven’t been large new outbreaks of the coronavirus in the capital.
She said the government’s program to detect and isolate people with the coronavirus in 158 neighborhoods across Mexico City has helped to contain the spread of the virus.
Sheinbaum acknowledged that the number of coronavirus patients in hospitals didn’t decline in the first 18 days of September but stressed that it didn’t increase either.
However, the number of beds occupied by coronavirus patients decreased on the weekend, she said, adding that authorities hope it’s the beginning of a downward trend.
There are currently just over 2,700 coronavirus patients in Mexico City hospitals including more than 700 who are on ventilators, according to government data.
The capital has been Mexico’s coronavirus epicenter since the beginning of the pandemic, recording far more cases and deaths than any of the country’s other 31 states.
As of Sunday, 117,808 people had tested positive for Covid-19 in Mexico City and 11,571 people were confirmed to have died from the infectious disease.
Mexico’s nationwide coronavirus case tally passed 700,000 on Tuesday with 2,917 new cases reported by the federal Health Ministry. The case tally now stands at 700,580, the seventh highest total in the world.
The Health Ministry also reported 204 additional Covid-19 fatalities, lifting the official death toll to 73,697. Only the United States, Brazil and India have recorded more Covid-19 deaths than Mexico.
The risk of coronavirus infection is currently orange light “high” in 24 states, according to the federal government’s stoplight system, and yellow light “medium” in eight.