- Just one week ago, the president asked Mexicans to go out and enjoy themselves to support the economy.
- There are about 2,500 covid-19 cases in the country.
- The Mexico –US border is closed with only essential travel allowed.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has urged the citizenry to stay indoors amid rising cases of Covid-19 infections. On Friday, the country reported a 20 percent increase in infections, from 585 to 717. His announcement marks a drastic shift in tone from his previous remarks about the virus.
Just one week ago, the president asked Mexicans to go out and enjoy themselves to support the economy. He has in recent weeks also blamed the opposition for sowing division through Covid-19 propaganda, proclaiming, “there are those who say we should stop hugging because of coronavirus. But we should hug. Nothing’s going to happen. They want us to get infected. That’s what they want so they can blame me for everything.”
Speaking from a resort in Tijuana, Baja California, he has asked the public to practice social distancing to curb the spread of the deadly virus and only go out for essentials.
“We have to be in our homes, we have to maintain a healthy distance [from each other]. … We can go out for essential reasons but we shouldn’t go out to the street without there being something truly necessary that compels us to go out. The best thing is to stay at home. . . Let’s maintain this retreat that will help us a lot.”
He also appealed to government agencies and private sector companies to allow their workers to work from home if possible to reduce infections. The president has cautioned that the country’s hospitals are able to accommodate thousands of patients, but the country’s healthcare system could easily be overwhelmed. He has asked that people avoid going to hospitals if no Covid-19 symptoms are present. Especially, if they have no fever or shortness of breath.
“If there is no fever, no dry cough, no extreme discomfort in the body . . . and no difficulty in breathing, we don’t have problems — let’s not go to the doctor or to the hospital, let’s try to stay at home. . . If we have these symptoms, let’s go to the nearest doctor for an analysis but only, I repeat, if there is fever, a dry cough, difficulty in breathing.”
He remains optimistic that the county will persevere. There about 2,500 Covid-19 infection cases in the country. Mexico is experiencing a myriad of problems arising from the crisis. Among them is a drop in tourism. The United States has also partially sealed its border with Mexico, and only essential travel is allowed between the two countries.
Tensions are said to be high at towns situated in these regions. Just a few days ago, residents of Sonora blocked a border crossing to protest the influx of untested Americans entering the country and endangering the lives of locals. The groups which donned face masks held placards telling visitors to stay at home.