Mexico City bans nonessential activities as COVID-19 cases overwhelm hospitals
Mexico City and the neighboring State of Mexico will ban nonessential activities in an effort to curb a spike in COVID-19 cases that has overwhelmed hospitals, officials announced Friday.
Driving the news: Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said hospital capacity is at about 75%, but the federal government put the number at 80%, per AP. Families have reported searching for hours to find open hospital beds in the capital.
Details: Starting Saturday, restaurants must close except for takeout.
- Many nonessential stores must also close and cultural activities will be postponed or cancelled.
- The restrictions will last until at least Jan. 10.
- Friday's announcement comes as shopping centers and stores have seen an uptick in customers for the holiday season.
What they're saying: "With these extraordinary measures we will help reduce infections and hospitalizations in the Valley of Mexico," deputy health minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell tweeted Friday.
- "I know it is difficult, but I ask everyone for one last effort," added Sheinbaum, who said the city was on an "emergency alert for COVID-19" last week.
The big picture: Mexico has nearly 1.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 116,480 deaths as of Friday afternoon, per Johns Hopkins University data, though the numbers are believed to be much higher.
- Mexico City has confirmed more than 19,000 coronavirus-related deaths, and about 20% of the country's cases, per Bloomberg News.
Worth noting: Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has called lockdowns and face-mask mandates tactics of "dictatorship," per AP.