Saturday, December 2, 2023

COVID roundup: face masks now optional, says Campeche governor

Wearing a face mask in public places is now optional in the opinion of Campeche Governor Layda Sansores, but a rule requiring people to mask up in the Gulf coast state remains in effect.

The use of face masks in public places was made mandatory in Campeche in April 2020, but Sansores, who took office in September, believes it’s time to do away with the rule.

“… For me … the face mask is now optional, you put it on if you want to and if you don’t want to you don’t,” the governor said during her weekly social media program Martes del Jaguar.

An unmasked Sansores told members of her audience they were free to remove their masks if they wished. Masks are not needed because Campeche is “COVID-free” and green on the federal government stoplight map, she said before conceding that the state is still recording two or three deaths a day.

“I would also remove the social distancing [requirement], I’m going to ask if that’s possible. Of course we won’t hold [large] events, but they already had the Formula One,” Sansores said.

During her 80-minute program, the governor also said that wearing a face mask for more than eight hours a day causes people to “absorb their own microbes.”

Campeche currently has 85 active coronavirus cases, according to federal Health Ministry data published Tuesday. The state has recorded just over 24,000 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic, the second lowest total in the country behind Chiapas, and 2,030 COVID-19 deaths.

In other COVID-19 news:

• The Network for Children’s Rights in Mexico (REDIM) rebuked the federal government for challenging the court order instructing it to offer vaccines to all youths aged 12 to 17. It urged President López Obrador to comply with the order.

“We demand that the president, as the highest representative of SIPINNA [the National System for the Protection of Girls, Boys and Adolescents] give his instructions so that the right to protection [against COVID] is guaranteed,” REDIM said.

• The Health Ministry reported 3,663 new cases and 299 additional COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday. Mexico’s accumulated tallies are currently 3.83 million and 290,110, respectively. Estimated active cases number 20,383.

Daily case numbers over the past week have averaged 2,780 in Mexico, according to the Reuters COVID-19 tracker, a figure equivalent to just 15% of the daily average peak recorded in mid-August.

With reports from Reforma 

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