If, and only if, current measures across Mexico to mitigate community spread of Covid-19 are upheld in coming weeks, stressed Under Secretary of Health Prevention and Promotion Dr. Hugo López-Gatell Ramirez today at the Federal Government’s daily national press conference, parts of the country may begin to reopen schools and productive activities by May 17th , though the national “Sana Distancia” (Healthy Distance) program will remain in effect through May 30th.
Dr. López-Gatell, epidemiologist and surgeon, specializing in internal medicine, has been the medical face of measures against Covid-19 in Mexico since the first case was detected in the country on February 28th. He explained while parts of the country have entered Phase 3, meaning generalization of transmission that is not easily traceable, each part of the nation is at a distinct point.
In today’s national press conference, the Under Secretary noted encouraging progress in parts of the country in reducing overall movement of people, though highlighted there are still parts of Mexico that have not yet shown a significant drop in these areas. In Mexico City, for example, these figures show a decrease of 82%, 77%, and 60% in public transit, pedestrians, and driving, respectively. The overall goal would be a reduction of at least 80%. On the other side of the scale, in Tijuana, Baja California, figures indicated only a 39% drop in pedestrian movement and 69% in use of private vehicles.
Among key points of Dr. López-Gatell Ramirez’s remarks today concerning steps forward in Mexico – all of which depend on ongoing compliance with current measures on social distancing:
- Nationwide “Sana Distancia” (Healthy Distance) program to remain in effect through May 30th – with daily analysis and evaluation as to progress
- Some parts of the country, including municipalities with no or very few cases, may be able to open schools and productive activities by May 17th*
- In all cases and until further notice, health measures to remain in effect for all individuals considered the most vulnerable (elderly and those with underlying health conditions)
- Regionalization of measures – dividing the country into zones based on Covid-19 cases
- Segmented mobility – Geographic containment that would hinder travel between areas with varying levels of transmission (i.e. no travel to/from areas of higher transmission and cases to those without)
The current goal is that by June 1st, Mexico would have successfully flattened the curve in order to begin opening-up and revive the economy. Still, Dr. López-Gatell stressed repeatedly this is “IF, and ONLY IF current social distancing measures are followed in the country.”
*As to municipalities that could possibly reopen schools and activities on May 17th or June 1st:
A map of Mexico presented in green, yellow, and red indicates the present picture in the country for:
Green – municipalities with no confirmed Covid-19 cases and no neighboring municipalities and/or states with cases (tentatively able to reopen May 17th)
Yellow – municipalities with no confirmed Covid-19 cases though with proximity to neighboring municipalities and/or states with cases (ongoing evaluation – possibly not able to reopen until May 30th) (The municipalities of Puerto Peñasco and Plutarco Elías Calles (Sonoyta) are indicated in yellow on this map)
Red – Municipalities with confirmed Covid-19 cases (tentatively May 30th)
According to the Mexico Secretary of Health, as of April 16, 2020, there have been:
5847 confirmed Covid-19 cases / 449 deaths / 42,702 tests carried out / 11,717 active (suspected cases) / 25,138 negative cases
As of April 15th, according to Sonora Health Secretary Enrique Clausen, in the state there have been (since March 16): 109 confirmed cases / 12 deaths / 6 recoveries / 678 tests done. There are no confirmed Covid-19 cases in Puerto Peñasco to date.