Despite the growing spread of Covid-19 in Mexico and the official commencement on Monday of the government’s social distancing initiative, President López Obrador has urged Mexicans not to stop going out.
López Obrador made the remarks on Sunday while seated alongside the owner of a restaurant in Oaxaca city.
“Don’t stop going out, we’re still in the first stage [of the coronavirus outbreak]. I’ll tell you when not to go out,” he said in a video posted to his Facebook account.
“If you can do it and you have the financial means, keep taking your family out to eat, to the restaurants, to the fondas [cheap diners] because that strengthens the family economy and the working class economy,” López Obrador said.
“We don’t do any good, we don’t help if we bring ourselves to a standstill in an exaggerated way without rhyme or reason. We’re going to continue living normal lives and at the [appropriate] time the president will tell you when we have to stay at home but not yet. With healthy distance, we can continue socializing,” he added.
“We have to be prepared and not think that it [the coronavirus pandemic] won’t affect us. It could affect us, the problem could get bigger but we’re prepared and we’ll get through it.”
The president’s advice contrasts with that of Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum who last week urged citizens to stay at home and on Sunday announced the closure of movie theaters, sports centers, bars and nightclubs among other spaces that attract crowds of people.
López Obrador’s remarks also contradict his appeal last Thursday for people to stay at home as much as they can.
Earlier in the video, the president asserted that Mexicans shouldn’t be afraid of the growing outbreak of Covid-19 in Mexico because the country is prepared for it.
“Mexicans, because of our cultures, are very resistant to all of the calamities. We’ve always gotten through them and on this occasion we’ll get through it. Our people are the holders and inheritors of ancient cultures, great civilizations, and in that lies our strength. Let’s not panic,” he added.
The video was one of several López Obrador posted to social media during a weekend tour of Oaxaca, where he attended an event to commemorate the 214th anniversary of the birth of former President Benito Juárez and inspected the progress made on two highway projects.
Source: El Universal (sp)