On Thursday, May 14, Mexican health authorities reported the highest daily increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases to date, with 2409 new cases recorded. This increase brings the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mexico to 42,595, including 4477 associated fatalities.
This comes as Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador announced a three-phase plan to ease nationwide lockdown measures imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday, May 13, as part of plans to reopen the country's economy. In the first phase, economic activity will resume in 269 municipalities with low numbers of COVID-19 cases from Monday, May 18. During the second phase, which will last from May 18 to Saturday, May 31, the country will prepare for national social-distancing measures to be lifted on Monday, June 1, by training businesses and workers on hygiene measures. The government will subsequently assess the readiness of individual states to reopen in phase 3, which will begin in June, by using the following color-coded system:
- Red: Only essential activities, as well as work in the mining, construction, and automotive industries, are allowed.
- Orange: Limited nonessential activities may resume. Individuals vulnerable to COVID-19, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, may return to work with strict social distancing measures in place.
- Yellow: All essential and nonessential activities may resume. Restaurants, churches, museums, and theatres may reopen but at a reduced level.
- Green: All restrictions will be lifted, and schools may reopen, although sanitary measures must be adhered to.
Mexico's shared border with the US will remain closed until Tuesday, May 19. The closure applies to recreational travel, while freight traffic, trade, and healthcare workers will still be allowed to cross the border.
Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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