Events in Mexico City that bring together more than 1,000 people will be suspended as of this week due to the growing threat of a widespread coronavirus outbreak.
Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum told a press conference on Monday that the measure is a precautionary one as the capital has not yet entered into a stage of community transmission of the infectious disease.
She said that the governments of all 16 Mexico City boroughs as well as private event organizers and venues will postpone large events.
“We’ve already been in contact with the National Auditorium and the Mexico City Arena,” Sheinbaum said, referring to two large indoor venues in the capital.
The mayor also said that citizens’ meetings at the Mexico City town hall will be suspended as of Tuesday. The government will attend to people’s needs over the telephone or via the internet, Sheinbaum said.
With regard to the Passion Play of Iztapalapa, an annual Holy Week event that attracts huge numbers of spectators to the borough of Iztapalapa to watch a reenactment of the last hours of the life of Jesus Christ, the mayor said that local authorities and organizers are evaluating whether it will go ahead.
Sheinbaum also said that five doctors per shift are working at the Mexico City International Airport to help detect potential cases of Covid-19 among arriving passengers, adding that the government will this week “strengthen hygiene measures in public transit.”
She asserted that her government has the capacity to implement more extreme measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
“Mexico City is one of the most prepared entities in the republic,” Sheinbaum said.
At the same press conference, Mexico City Health Minister Oliva López Arellano said that classes would not be suspended before this Friday, as is occurring in some other states, explaining that authorities would follow the schedule set by the federal government, which announced Saturday that Easter holidays will start two weeks early on March 20.
In neighboring México state, Governor Alfredo del Mazo also ordered the suspension of large events and other activities that bring together high numbers of people.
He said that the state government has allocated 300 million pesos (US $13 million) to purchase medications, medical supplies and equipment to attend to patients that require hospitalization for Covid-19. There were six confirmed cases of coronavirus in México state as of Monday but only one patient is currently in the hospital.
Del Mazo also said that six hospitals have been given specific responsibility to provide treatment for coronavirus patients. Three are in state capital Toluca while the others are in Zumpango, Ixtapaluca and Tlalnepantla, municipalities that are part of the greater Mexico City area.
The Health Ministry said Monday that there were 82 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Mexico, three of which were serious, and 171 suspected cases.
Source: El Universal (sp)