wplg logo

Mexico to restrict mobility to areas less affected by virus

Full Screen
1 / 2

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Siblings Julio Cesar, left, and Carmen Castellanos wear face masks as they wait for customers behind a protective sheet of plastic hanging over the counter in El Foquito, the hardware and electric supply store they own in the Benito Juarez district of Mexico City, Wednesday, April 15, 2020. The Castellanos family used their hardware skills and supplies to hand-make more than 100 face shields which they donated to medical staff at two hospitals in the capital. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

MEXICO CITY – Mexico will begin to restrict movement between places most affected by the COVID-19 virus — mostly large cities — and places with few infections, the president said Thursday.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador asked authorities Thursday in towns so far unaffected by the pandemic to “help us establish sanitary cordons” to slow the spread.

The government is also extending its social distancing measures for another month to the end of May, predicting that the epidemic will peak in Mexico in about three weeks.

Mexico has confirmed nearly 6,000 infections and reported about 450 deaths. Health undersecretary Hugo López-Gatell said health officials believe the real number of infections is probably eight times that.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

So far, the federal government's social distancing measures have largely been recommendations, though it has begun to crack down on non-essential businesses that have stayed open. But there is no curfew like in other countries of the region, and López Obrador said that “without the use of force, without a curfew, our people have acted in a responsible way.”

Government officials did not immediately explain how the measures to “segment mobility in the national territory” would be implemented or whether they would be enforced.