Mexico, Lockdown Easing Continues Amid Surge in Covid-19 Cases

On 9 June the Mexican government led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced the continued easing of measures which had been implemented to stop the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).
Mexico Lockdown Covid-19

Analysis:

The announcement comes despite a continued rise in new Covid-19 infections, with 4,199 new cases and 596 deaths registered in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 124,301 confirmed Covid-19 cases of which 14,649 deaths. It also comes amid warnings from the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) that Mexico has yet to reach the peak of the epidemic, casting doubt on suggestions by Mexican health officials such as José Luis Alomía, the health ministry’s director of epidemiology, that the peak could have passed.

  • Under the latest easing of measures, hotels and parks can operate at 25% capacity, and restaurants can reopen for takeaways. Meanwhile supermarkets can operate at 50% capacity, although only one person per family is permitted, and sports matches can take place behind closed doors.
  • This easing of measures, which is part of the return to a ‘new normality’ which began on 1 June in line with a four-tiered plan, is going forward despite the fact that the majority of Mexican states remain in the ‘red light’ or maximum risk level.
  • Announcing the latest easing of measures, Alomía said the infection rate over the past 14 days had dropped in parts of the country, which could mean that the peak of the epidemic has passed if this tendency is confirmed.
  • In a virtual press conference yesterday, organised by the United Nations information centre in Mexico, the PAHO representative in Mexico Cristian Morales warned that Mexico is still advancing towards the peak of the coronavirus outbreak. Morales recommended that the country continue with social distancing measures to avoid the collapse of the health system.

Looking Ahead:

Yesterday, deputy health minister, Hugo López-Gatell, also appeared to admit that the country remains at a critical stage, adding that tourism industry cannot reopen while Mexico is under the ‘red light’ or maximum risk level.

In brief: Mexico must develop industrial strategy, says think-tank

* The president of local think-tank Instituto para el Desarrollo Industrial y Crecimiento Económico (Idic), José Luis de la Cruz, has warned that Mexico must develop an industrial policy to overcome the current global economic crisis and make the most of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on regional trade, which is due to come into force on 1 July. In a virtual seminar hosted by one of the country’s leading business organisations, the Confederación de Cámaras Industriales (Concamin), De la Cruz said that Mexico’s long-running want of an industrial policy has led to an average industrial growth rate of less than 0.5% between 2001 and 2020. He explained that despite the country’s strong presence in international trade (accounting for 3.1% of the global market), Mexico contributes only 0.9% of the value added. “Mexico is a macro-export giant with feet of clay”, De la Cruz concluded.

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