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Mexico suspends classes, requests people work from home

Mexico City, Mexico — The Secretary and Undersecretary of Health have announced new measures that will be taken around the country to help avoid the spread of coronavirus.

The Secretaría de Salud and the undersecretary of Prevención y Promoción de la Salud have said that beginning March 20, all schools will be closed until April 20, giving students an early start to the upcoming holiday season.

Health head Esteban Moctezuma also reported the temporary suspension of non-essential activities starting Monday, March 23. “Non-essential activities involving the congregation or mobility of people are suspended and replaced by activities that promote healthy distance,” he said.

He explained that the measures to prevent the spread of the virus will now be collective, so from March 23 to April 19, a “Healthy Distance” campaign will begin throughout the country, including the rescheduling of events of large concentrations.

Health authorities are also recommending companies request people work from home. “If someone has a job that does not require manual labor or an on-the-job-only tool and the work can be done from home, we recommend that all agencies, all organizations public, social and private require people to work at home,” he said.

The Mexican Government had resisted taking drastic measures to contain COVID-19, but the rate of contagion in recent days, from 15 cases on Thursday to 82 on Monday, has prompted health authorities to act.

During La Mañanera by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Cristian Morales Fuhrimann, representative of the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization in Mexico acknowledged his support regarding the actions the Federal Government has put in place to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Mexico was the first country to pay attention to the coronavirus. It was also here in Mexico we would train other regional countries so they could make the local detection,” said Morales at a press conference.

He asserted that “many countries in the region would like to have, on their team, people of the same caliber as that of the secretary and the undersecretary of Mexican Health who experienced the influenza pandemic. We are very confident of what Mexico is doing to address the pandemic,” he said.