The government of Zacatecas announced Monday that red light restrictions would take immediate effect due to an increase in coronavirus cases.
Health Minister Gilberto Breña Cantú told a virtual press conference that Zacatecas is facing a “perfect storm” created by a range of factors.
“We have a pandemic, we have the cold season, we have the flu season, we have all the parties that are commonly held [at the end of the year],” he said.
Both coronavirus cases and Covid-19 deaths have recently increased, Breña said. Indeed, about a third of Zacatecas’ 16,780 confirmed cases were detected this month.
The health minister noted that the risk of coronavirus infection is orange light “high,” according to the federal government’s stoplight system, but explained that state authorities had reached the conclusion that the risk level is in fact already red light “maximum.”
As a result, nonessential businesses will be required to close by 7:00 p.m. and public transit services will end at 9:00 p.m. Places of worship are banned from holding services and all parties including weddings and 15th birthday celebrations are prohibited.
Parks, town squares, museums, gyms, public swimming pools, sports centers, nightclubs and bars must all close while restaurants and hotels are limited to 25% of their normal capacity.
The restrictions will remain in place for the next two weeks and apply across Zacatecas even though about three-quarters of the almost 17,000 cases detected in the state since the start of the pandemic are concentrated in just six of 58 municipalities.
Zacatecas city leads the state for cases with 4,278 as of Sunday. The next highest number of cases was detected in Guadalupe, with 3,730; followed by Fresnillo with 3,099; Sombrerete with 650; Jerez with 460; and Río Grande with 392.
Ten Zacatecas municipalities have recorded fewer than 10 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic and two – Mezquital del Oro and Moyahua – have recorded just one each.
The northern state has recorded 1,485 Covid-19 deaths, of which almost 40% occurred this month.
Zacatecas city also leads for Covid-19 deaths with 294 followed by Fresnillo and Guadalupe with 274 and 211, respectively.
Source: El Financiero (sp)