The outlook is not so hopeful for at least two dozen municipalities that initially made the list of the coronavirus-free “municipalities of hope.”
They have dropped off the list due to new infections since they were given the green light to reopen and lift coronavirus restrictions on Monday.
Originally the government had identified 324 communities that could begin reopening, although only 54 actually did lift restrictions. Governors in five states — Jalisco, Guerrero, Chihuahua and Oaxaca — said they would not begin to reopen until at least June 1.
And in states like Puebla and San Luis Potosí, the outlook is not quite as optimistic as it was at the beginning of the week as far as returning to the “new normal.”
Puebla Governor Miguel Barbosa said that of his state’s 13 municipalities of hope, only eight remained due to confirmed cases of the virus or proximity to other municipalities with infection.
The situation is similar in San Luis Potosí, which on May 13 had six qualifying municipalities and now there are none.
By May 17, a day before the scheduled reopening, five of the six communities had seen outbreaks of the coronavirus, and the remaining municipality borders on a community with confirmed cases and is thus not eligible to reopen under the federal government’s criteria.
In addition, Moctezuma, Sonora, now has two reported cases and one death, as does Tezonapa, Veracruz.
And despite the fact that these two states did not reopen, the virus has reached them.
Cañadas de Obregón in Jalisco now has its first five cases of the coronavirus, and in Oaxaca 11 municipalities previously deemed virus-free have now seen cases.
The Spanish newspaper El País reported Wednesday that no virus tests had been carried out in 67% of the municipalities of hope.
Infection diseases specialist Alejandro Macías told the newspaper that it was only a matter of time before those municipalities began reporting Covid-19 cases, and stressed the importance of testing to determine the magnitude of infection.
It’s a navigational instrument that countries can use to determine if activity can be resumed, he said.
“Without testing, we’re blind.”