Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Covid flare-up closes beaches in Oaxaca destination

Authorities in a coastal municipality of Oaxaca have announced the closure of beaches and the implementation of an alcohol ban due to a large outbreak of coronavirus.

The government of Santa María Colotepec, one of two municipalities across which the resort town of Puerto Escondido is located, announced Sunday that 13 coronavirus mitigation measures would be in place between October 12 and 31 due to the Oaxaca Health Ministry’s notification of “a large scale outbreak of positive Covid-19 cases in our municipal jurisdiction.”

An official statement said that all beaches in the municipality, from Puerto Piedra to El Puertecito, would be closed and that the permitted capacity of restaurants and hotels would be reduced to 40% and 20% of normal levels, respectively.

The statement also said that bars must close; that the installation of street stalls in the Punta Zicatela area would be prohibited; that the sale of alcohol in the entire municipality would be banned; and that no parties or events would be allowed.

In addition, it said that recreation spaces near the Colotepec River would be closed; that a local cattle market would be suspended; that buses and taxis from outside the municipality would not be allowed to enter Santa María Colotepec; that local taxis and public transit vans would be limited to carrying three and seven passengers, respectively; that all public transit drivers and passengers must wear face masks; and that workers and customers at the Zicatela Market must strictly comply with preventative health measures.

The Colotepec government said the measures are designed to prevent an increase in cases of Covid-19,“which continues to take lives in our municipality.”

Anyone found not complying with the health measures will be sanctioned, the statement said.

Despite municipal authorities referring to “a large scale outbreak” of the coronavirus, Santa María Colotepec has only recorded 50 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic and three Covid-19 deaths. Just six cases are considered active.

In neighboring San Pedro Mixtepec, which includes the central area of Puerto Escondido, 167 confirmed cases have been detected and 17 people have lost their lives to Covid-19. The municipality also has six active cases but authorities have not announced any new measures to control the virus.

Oaxaca, one of seven states that regressed to orange light “high risk” from yellow light “medium” on Monday according to the federal government’s stoplight system to assess the risk of coronavirus infection, has recorded 18,931 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic, the 18th highest total among Mexico’s 32 states. The southern state’s case tally rose by 28 on Monday.

There are 736 active cases in Oaxaca, according to state authorities, with about three-quarters of that number in the state’s Central Valleys region, which includes Oaxaca city. There are just 47 active cases in the state’s Pacific coast region, where Puerto Escondido is located.

Oaxaca’s official Covid-19 death toll is 1,516 with five additional fatalities reported on Monday. Just under half of the state’s deaths occurred in the Central Valleys. The coast region has recorded 80 deaths.

Nationally, the coronavirus case tally increased to 821,045 on Monday with 3,542 new cases reported, while the Covid-19 death toll rose to 83,945 with 164 additional fatalities registered.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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