Mexico’s federal government declared a health emergency over the rapid spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) as the number of cases surpassed 1,090.
During a streamed news conference, Mexico’s top health officials and various presidential cabinet members declared a national health emergency to allow for better coordination between federal agencies in response to the pandemic.
Undersecretary of Health Hugo Lopez Gatell revealed the number of confirmed cases jumped from 993 on Sunday night to 1,094 on Monday. There are now 28 deaths and another 2,752 undergoing tests.
— SALUD México (@SSalud_mx) March 31, 2020
As part of the emergency order, Lopez Gatell said they were asking for the complete shutdown of non-essential businesses and for the public to stay home.
“We have been given an opportunity to slow this down,” he said claiming that if there was no action, the virus would peak in a matter of weeks and lead to a high number of cases. However, if the public stayed indoors, the virus would reach a lower peak in June with fewer fatalities.
While cabinet members said the request to close down non-essential businesses was an invitation to the private sector, Mexico’s Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said businesses that don’t comply could face fines or forced closures.
“It would be suicide for a business to not follow the recommendations,” Ebrard said.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony Aranda from Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report