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Government of Mexico says it will not close borders or restrict flights

Mexico City, Mexico — Hugo López-Gatell, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health says there are no plans for Mexico to close borders or restrict international flights due to the coronavirus.

López-Gatell, undersecretary of Prevención y Promoción de la Salud made the announcement at a press conference in Mexico City over the weekend. He clarified that Mexico has no plans to close borders or prohibit the arrival of international flights due to the coronavirus.

He explained that prevention measures at international airports will be strengthened in order to detect possible cases of coronavirus from other countries. “We are going to scale-as planned from the beginning-screening for the early detection of people who could have symptoms through temperature monitoring and through questioning of symptoms.”

López-Gatell added that this measure has been applied since the early stages of the outbreak and will now be expanded to “flights from 10 countries with active transmission.”

“It is not intended, I want to make it very clear, it is not intended to restrict international travel to Mexico or close borders or close seaports. These measures do not have a solid scientific basis,” he said.

“Throughout the history of epidemics,” he stressed it has not been detected that measures of this nature have helped “to decrease the risk of transmission.”

He says closing borders and airports usually has “very serious economic and social consequences” in addition to being “contrary to international health regulations and its essence, which, in a very formal way, indicates that scientifically validated and appropriate measures must be used without affecting the international trade or the mobility of people.”