Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) on Friday, Dec. 4, urged residents in the densely-populated capital Mexico City to stay home and limit their end-of-year festivities, amid a rise in cases of the novel coronavirus disease (covid-19).
“If we don’t have anything really important to do, let’s not go out into the streets,” AMLO said during his regular morning press conference, still refusing to wear a mask himself.
The president, who has mocked the pandemic and often offered “advise” that contradicted that of his own medical team, said he preferred to make a “respectful” request to citizens, rather than imposing coercive measures through mandatory curfews.
In a 10-point collection of recommendations, López Obrador asked residents to avoid parties and to instead communicate with friends and loved ones via phone or video calls.
He also called on Mexicans to practice social-distancing and, as much as possible, to limit social interchanges to those living in the same household.
If someone should show symptoms of covid-19, such as fever, sore throat, body aches or trouble breathing, he said, they should seek medical attention by calling 55-5658-1111 if they live in Mexico City, or 911 if they live in any other part of the country.
AMLO likewise recommended that those who display symptoms or have been in direct contact with someone who has the disease, should be tested, noting that kiosks offering free tests had been set up across the capital city.
“Let’s leave Christmas presents aside for now,” he added.
“Remember to give affection and love, not to try to buy them.”
The president also said that the government is setting up 500 additional hospital beds to accommodate the surge in covid-19 cases.
As of Friday, Dec. 4, Mexican had registered 1,144,643 confirmed cases of covid-19 infections and 108,173 deaths from the disease, although most medical specialists believe the real number is much higher.