Photo: Matteo Johnson/Unsplash

By KELIN DILLON

Thanks to Mexico City’s steadily rising case count of covid-19 infections, largely in part to the emergence of the virus’ Delta variant, the capital city will now regress back to an orange ranking on Mexico’s traffic light-based coronavirus risk system from July 26 through Aug. 8.

While an orange designation is supposed to close the region’s non-essential economic activities and reduce the capacity of people allowed in public spaces as per the government’s own regulations, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced there would be no new restrictions on activity in the capital.

“There are no adjustments,” said Sheinbaum on Friday, July 23. “In the last week, the number of positive cases stabilized. That speaks of the impact of vaccination.”

Despite this, the CDMX mayor did caution the city’s youth demographic to take great caution moving forward, as new cases are mainly centralized in the population aged between 18 and 39.

However, experts around the globe have agreed that Mexico’s traffic light system has been largely ineffective in protecting its inhabitants from the risk of coronavirus and must be adjusted for the new Delta variant, making some side-eye Sheinbaum’s current laissez faire attitude at Mexico City’s return to the orange.

“It is an inconsequential traffic light because it has several faults. One of them is that the new variants that are circulating in the country are not being taken into account and it is not known what impact they are actually having,” said doctor, virologist and epidemiologist Andreu Comas García. 

“Even worse, it is inconsequential because there is no reduction in the mobility of the spread in Mexico, because at the end of the day other countries that use a similar traffic light system actually serve to put measures in to reduce transmission.”

Other professionals in the health sector pointed out that the government suggesting the use of masks but not making it mandatory contributes to the widespread movement of the virus, and that the color-ranking on the traffic light system indicates areas of Mexico are doing better than they are as no further protections are put in place for the population to combat covid-19.

Now, Mexico City’s hospitals will reinstate the capacity of their coronavirus-specific care in anticipation of a further increase in cases, though there still remains to be any further precautions taken city-wide as the Delta variant surges through.

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