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Five Mexican states order the return of mouth masks in closed spaces

Mexico City, Mexico — Five states in Mexico have ordered the return of mandatory masks in closed public spaces. The mandatory use of the masks is due to the increase in positive covid-19 infections.

The latest state to order the return of the mouth mask is Puebla. On Monday, the head of the Puebla Ministry of Health, José Antonio Martínez García, made the announcement during a press conference.

Garcia reported that as of December 21, it will be mandatory to wear mouth masks in closed public spaces. The state of Puebla is the fifth state in two weeks to make the order. Last week, health authorities in the state of Nuevo León announced the return of the mouth mask.

On December 12, NL Health Secretary Alma Rosa Marroquín said the decision was made to return to the use of the mouth mask to avoid an outbreak of covid-19. She said companies have also been recommended to return to the home office where possible.

“The use of face masks in closed spaces is mandatory in which we identify the behavior of this respiratory disease problem because it is not exclusively Covid, but we also have these three factors, Covid, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus,” she explained.

On December 14, Tamaulipas ordered the mandatory use of mouth masks in schools, hospitals and closed places to avoid a wave of Covid-19 infections. Vicente Joel Hernández Navarro, the State Secretary of Health, said it is to prevent an increase in Covid-19, influenza and respiratory diseases.

On December 16, Baja California announced on the mandatory use of face masks on public transport, in all municipalities of the state. The Director of the Institute for Sustainable Mobility of Baja California, Jorge Alberto Gutiérrez Topete, reported that inspection operations on public transport will be reinforced to ensure that both passengers and drivers are wearing mouth masks.

“In public transport, it is difficult to keep a healthy distance from other users so the measure of the use of face masks is essential,” he stressed.

The State Health Secretariat of Guerrero also reported that the use of face masks is mandatory on public transport as well as in closed spaces. The measure is being added since, according to authorities, Guerrero is a tourist entity and hotel and restaurant workers, as well as visitors, must be protected.

“While there are active cases, we must be prudent and use the mask,” said the Undersecretary of Health in the state of Guerrero, Jesús Ulises Adame Reynay,

On Tuesday, the Undersecretary for Prevention and Health Promotion, Hugo López-Gatell Ramírez, said that the Covid-19 epidemic in Mexico has seen six weeks of increases. He added that the current increases are lower than in past waves.

López-Gatell says the covid virus will progressively become seasonal. Photo: AMLO

“We have an increase in cases,” he said Monday during the AMLO morning press conference. “These Covid-19 infections follow the same logic of respiratory infections as in all cold seasons around the world and have been increasing for millennia. (…) You see this increase that accumulates for six weeks, a slow increase compared to the speed at which the fourth or fifth wave grew,” he explained.

He said that the SARS-CoV-2 virus will progressively be a seasonal disease and “it will stop having waves in the spring and summer. It will begin to synchronize with the rest of the more than 360 known respiratory viruses,” he added.