Monday, July 4

Covid-19: Mexico City goes to a yellow traffic light for the first time since the emergency was declared in March 2020

An amusement park worker during the reopening work in Mexico City.
An amusement park worker during the reopening work in Mexico City.Media and Media / GETTY IMAGES

The authorities of Mexico City have announced this Friday that the capital will change from Monday to yellow within the epidemiological traffic light, after several weeks of fall in the records of infections and hospitalizations for covid-19. It is the first time during the entire pandemic and since the effectiveness of the monitoring system created by the Ministry of Health, that the capital of Mexico reaches the yellow traffic light, which allows the reopening of more social and economic activities. The announcement was made by Eduardo Clark, director of Digital Government of the Digital Agency for Public Innovation, who assured that “for the first time since the start of the pandemic” the capital has registered “continuous improvements.” “We have already met the conditions due to the downward trend,” said the official.

Clark has reported that the level of hospitalization in the capital is 16.5%, the lowest recorded in the entire pandemic. In addition, he has said that hospital admissions due to covid-19 have been reduced by 50%. The downward trend is clear. According to information released this morning, hospitalizations went from 1,681 people on April 30 to 1,404 today, with a decrease of 277 people. The official added that 1,308 beds are occupied in public hospitals and there are more than 6,000 available.

The metropolitan area of ​​Mexico City, which includes the State of Mexico, went to an orange traffic light in mid-February after two months of maximum restrictions. That allowed open-air theater performances, individual classes in gymnasiums and pools, and the opening of temples to reopen. Today’s announcement coincides with what was reported yesterday by the Undersecretary of Health, Hugo López-Gatell, that Mexico has not experienced a third wave of infections, one of the fears of the authorities after the Easter holidays.

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With the traffic light in yellow, as of Monday the Open Air City program will continue, which will now allow restaurants to expand the furniture on sidewalks in the capital. Banks are also given the ability to operate without time restrictions. In addition, the access capacity in shops, as well as in movie theaters, is expanded to 40%. Hotels can organize conventions with a capacity of 50%. From May 12, sports events will be held outdoors and from May 17, entertainment events and theaters in closed spaces are given the go-ahead. Children’s parties and exhibitions can be held from the 27th, with a maximum capacity of 30%.

After long months of registering alarming numbers of infections, deaths and hospitalizations, the pandemic is beginning to give a respite to a city that is trying to recover from the blow. The capital registered the highest peak of infections on May 21, 2020 and still in December the hospitals of the Valley of Mexico, which include the city, its surroundings and part of the State of Mexico, where some 23 million people live, were at 75% occupancy. Areas like Iztapalapa are among the hardest hit. With about two million inhabitants, it had one of the highest rates of covid infections in the city, with 39,000 cases registered in December. In that month the authorities decided to keep the red traffic light, suspending non-essential activities until January 10. The respite began with the arrival of spring and a warmer climate, although the capital’s government does not lower its guard and maintains constant monitoring of cases. If there is an increase in these, the city can change traffic lights again.

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Regarding the vaccination program, the head of the city government, Claudia Sheinbaum has said that more than a million vaccines have been applied in the capital and that today the national vaccination program ends in the municipalities of Iztapalapa and Tlalpan, with the application of the second dose for adults over 60 years. Today is also the last day for people aged 50 to 59 to receive their first dose in the municipalities of Cuajimalpa, Milpa Alta and La Magdalena Contreras. Sheibaum has said that if the vaccination program continues with the current level and maintaining security measures, the capital could soon go to a green light, which will mean the total opening of social and economic activities.

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