Photo: Strait Times


Mexican Public Health Undersecretary Hugo López-Gatell officially declared the country in Phase 1 of the progression of coronavirus on Tuesday, March 24, during the regular morning press conference of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).

As a result of the new stage in the disease’s progression, AMLO issued a decree that all elderly private- and public-sector employees can return to their homes with full pay to wait out the contagion.

The president also took the opportunity to congratulate private-sector companies — and specifically, those run by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim — for commiting to not firing emloyees during this difficult period.

Initial studies have indicated that the elderly are more susceptible to having severe consequences from Covid-19.

According to government sources, there have been 826 confirmed cases of the virus in Mexico, with four deaths, although the figures are probably much higher since less than 2,500 people have been tested.

In about 80 percent of Covid-19 cases, patients have mild or moderate symptoms that do not require hospitalization and which, without formal testing, can easily be misdiagnosed as a cold or the flu.

Elderly patients — those 65 and over — and those with preexisting health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, respiratory illnesses or compromised immune systems are more susceptible to complications from Covid-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had over the weekend stated that Mexico had already reached the Phase 2 level of contagion since most confirmed cases of the disease were no longer “imported,” that is, transmitted to people who had traveled abroad or ben in direct contact with people who had traveled abroad.

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