Thursday, November 30, 2023

As virus spreads, Jalisco governor threatens economic shutdown

Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro has warned that he will shut down the state economy if coronavirus cases and hospital admissions continue to increase.

In a video message uploaded to social media on Tuesday, Alfaro said his government has implemented an “emergency button” system and that if he presses it, all economic activity in Jalisco will be required to come to an immediate halt.

The governor said he will be forced to act if people fail to understand the risk of “breaking lockdown” and if Covid-19 case numbers and hospital admissions continue to trend upwards as has occurred in recent days.

If people flood the streets of Jalisco, the lives of hundreds of residents will be placed at risk and there will be a “necessity to immediately stop all activities in the state by means of the emergency button,” Alfaro said.

He explained that activation of the button depends on two factors: hospital occupancy levels and the weekly per capita incidence of new coronavirus infections.

“If the first indicator reaches 50% or the second reaches 400 per million inhabitants, we will have to stop [economic activities] again. It’s as clear as that. Today the first indicator is at 26% and the second is at 290,” Alfaro said.

He said that the economic shutdown would be stricter than that imposed while the entire country faced uniform social distancing restrictions in April and May.

“It would mean closing all industry, commerce and services. Only health and security services, and those related to the supply of food, would be maintained,” Alfaro said.

“In this period of total lockdown, restaurants wouldn’t be able to operate, not even for home delivery. There wouldn’t be public transit except for … health and security personnel. Street markets, banks, churches, the government, plazas and shopping streets wouldn’t be able to operate,” he said.

“Only markets and supermarkets would be able to open during the week, exclusively for the sale of food.”

Jalisco has recorded 8,090 confirmed Covid-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, the 10th highest tally among Mexico’s 32 states, and 889 deaths. A third of the confirmed cases were detected in Guadalajara, Jalisco’s capital and largest city.

As of Tuesday, 1,110 of the state’s confirmed cases were considered active, meaning that number of people tested positive after developing coronavirus symptoms in the past 14 days.

Jalisco is one of 17 states that were allocated an “orange light” Friday on the federal government’s color-coded “stoplight” map, used to indicate the risk of coronavirus infection, but the state government is following its own economic reactivation plan.

Alfaro said he will present a new risk assessment instrument next week that will define when businesses that have not yet been allowed to reopen – among which are bars, cinemas and casinos – will be permitted to resume activities and the conditions  under which they will be required to operate.

However, the reopening of such businesses, and the continued operation of those that have already resumed activities, will be contingent on case numbers and hospital admissions remaining below the “emergency button” levels set out by the governor.

Source: El Economista (sp) 

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