Both the State of Sonora and the Federal government have declared health emergency measures in the era of the Covid-19 coronavirus. The Federal declaration, on the evening of March 30th, extends quarantine preventative measures across the country through April 30th, limiting non-essential services in general. The #QuedateEnCasa (Stay at Home) strategy of the Sonoran government persists, complemented by the National “Su Sana Distancia” (Keep Your Healthy Distance) program to help combat the spread of Covid-19 in the country through social distancing.
The Federal directive includes instructions for only essential services to remain open in the public, private and social sectors across Mexico, which are categorized into five areas: Emergency Health services (hospitals, clinics, etc.), Public Safety, Government Social Programs, Products and Services including water, electricity, trash, and those essential to the economy (food, gasoline, banking, agriculture, security services, emergency services, funeral homes, freight and passenger transportation).
Previously, on March 25th, the Official Bulletin for the State of Sonora printed Governor Claudia Pavlovich’s Emergency Health-Epidemiological Declaration, followed with detailed information concerning restrictions on alcohol and entertainment establishments across the state.
In addition to the suspension of social and public events in general, among steps in Governor Pavlovich’s declaration is that only essential activities are to continue, including: production and distribution of potable or drinking water, as well as infrastructure related to guaranteeing water supply, electricity, collection, and the transportation and sale of food; production and sale of medication and medical equipment; production and distribution of LP gas, gasoline, and diesel; communications and associated services, including branches related to said services, paid television, public transport in general whether local or beyond, platforms of private transport, medical service of any kind, hospitals, clinics or treatment centers related to health or the care of persons, rehabilitation centers or similar services, pharmacies or similar services, transportation or sale of primary need products, public services including trash collection, public safety, essential public services, and other activities that may not be considered dispensable.
The order includes the closure of bars, casinos, cantinas, entertainment/recreational/athletic centers, night clubs, movie theaters, circus, social centers and clubs, discos and informal businesses that do not provide essential services. Additional steps include suspending the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages specifically at: bars, billiard or bowling establishments, the bar area of a restaurant/bar, night clubs, strip clubs, event centers, and dance halls. Restricted hours are provided for: distributing agencies, “expendio” liquor stores, service stations, department stores, and grocery stores who may sell from (updated April 3rd 8 am – 6 pm) and from 8 am – 8 pm at restaurants and restaurant/bars solely in their restaurant area.
Food establishments of any kind, including the sale of prepared or frozen foods, fruit stores, and street stands may continue providing services to the population but under strict measures to prevent crowds or people gathering, and preferably offering service for food to be taken home or to provide delivery.
Markets, supermarkets, and informal businesses who provide food or primary need products, as well as commercial chain convenience stores or that sell food, will continue to provide service to ensure a supply of food, products and primary need / hygiene articles. Suppliers of these are also exempt from suspending activities.
A health alert issued by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City further noted, “As of March 30, the Mexican Ministry of Health confirmed 1,094 cases of COVID-19 within its borders.” On March 31st, the total number of Covid-19 cases in Mexico was 1215 with 29 deaths. As of March 31st, there are 18 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Sonora per the Sonora Secretary of Health, with no confirmed cases in Puerto Peñasco to date.