The governor of Nayarit has warned residents to prepare for the worst as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow in the Pacific coast state.
In a video message posted to social media on Saturday, Antonio Echevarría García said that Nayarit is recording a high number of new infections on a daily basis and apportioned blame to irresponsible citizens.
“There are thousands of people who are not taking care of themselves and who place those around them at risk,” he said.
The governor also claimed that some people are spreading “stupid conspiracy theories” about Covid-19 that promote “murderous ignorance” about the disease.
“The hospitals are full,” Echevarría declared, a claim that is not backed up by federal data that shows that less than 60% of general care beds and just 23% of those with ventilators are currently in use in Nayarit.
“Soon we will have to improvise tarp camps to receive the thousands of people who will get sick because they didn’t wear face masks and [follow the coronavirus mitigation] measures.”
The National Action Party governor highlighted that a prediction made in March that 1,500 Nayarit residents would get sick with Covid-19 and that 80 people would die has already been exceeded. (As of Sunday, Nayarit had recorded 1,667 confirmed cases – including more than 800 in Tepic – and 190 deaths, according to state data.)
“In a period of three months, about 200 Nayarit residents have lost their lives because of Covid, more than half of them in … June, the month in which the majority of productive activities restarted. … Today, we are assured, we’re not even at the halfway point” of the pandemic, Echevarría said,
After reiterating his criticism of those who haven’t complied with coronavirus restrictions, the governor announced that people who fail to wear face masks in public places or use the streets as a “recreational space” will face fines.
Businesses that fail to implement measures to protect their employees and customers from the risk of infection will also be sanctioned, Echevarría said before urging nayaritas, as residents of the state are known, to be responsible.
“Today I appeal to your maturity but I don’t rule out painful measures of great institutional force if citizens’ conduct doesn’t change soon,” he said.
Towards the end of his virtual address, Echevarría warned that not only the elderly and people with existing health conditions are vulnerable to complications if they are infected with the coronavirus.
“Countless young people who were apparently healthy have also lost their lives,” he said.
“I ask you to take this danger seriously, I don’t expect you to do it for me. I sincerely want you to do it out of love for you and yours. I am also a son, a father, a husband, a brother, a friend and a work colleague, and like you I don’t want to lose anyone from something that could have been avoided.”
Nayarit currently has 615 active Covid-19 cases, of which 296 are in Tepic and 78 in the coastal municipality of Bahía de Banderas.
Source: La Jornada (sp)