Friday, December 8, 2023

While Morelos flouts Covid-19 constraints, Oaxaca cracks down

Despite Covid-19 risk prevention recommendations by the state government, some Morelos towns are going ahead with public dances and other large events, possibly putting the health of their citizens and those of neighboring communities at risk.

The municipality of Atlatlahucan, in the northeastern part of the state, held a large dance with over 2,000 in attendance to top off four days of festivities in preparation for Semana Santa (Holy Week), the two-week holiday period before and after Easter Sunday.

Thousands of people gathered in the town’s main square, but no risk prevention measures were taken. There were a number of musical and cultural acts, although two acts canceled their shows, citing public health concerns.

Mayor Calixto Urbano Lagunas had said that the festival, which began on March 19, would go on in solidarity with the artisans and other merchants who participated. Suspending it, he said, would affect the economy, and recommended that those who were sick not attend.

Safety measures were also flouted in Cuautla, where Mayor Jesús Corona Damián and other regional authorities also held large events that culminated in a dance on Sunday.

Yautepec Mayor Agustín Alonso Gutiérrez neglected to follow health recommendations as well when he called together all the workers from the municipal government to propose they donate part of their salaries to purchase supplies for poorer communities.

While Morelos lives it up, Oaxaca city has been put on a strict lockdown, with police patrolling the streets to ensure that people do not linger in parks or otherwise assemble in public.

Around 1,500 officers have been deployed to the city streets, using megaphones to urge the public to remain in their homes and to remind those on the street to keep a safe distance from one another.

“I say this knowing full well my responsibility: we are going to instruct the municipal police to restrict access to parks and public spaces, because during this school and work suspension, people must remain in their homes,” said Mayor Oswaldo García Jarquín.

“We are not going to allow families to expose themselves [to the risk of contagion],” he added.

He said police had been trained to break up groups of people and convince them to return to the safety of their homes.

“We have to take care of ourselves. The municipal authority will behave responsibly,” he said.

Sources: Milenio (sp)

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