*

upload_article_image

Mexico begins reopening even as cases, deaths remain high

Mexico began more re-openings of businesses shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, even as deaths and new cases continued at an unbroken pace.

The Health Department said total confirmed cases rose by 3,427 to 150,264, and confirmed deaths rose by 439 to 17,580. Both numbers are clearly undercounts.

Federal health officials have said Mexico is on a sort of a plateau and there is no clear evidence of any sustained decrease in cases. But President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Monday that greater Mexico City, which has been worst-hit by the coronavirus, was seeing “a slight decrease, not as much as we would like, but it is now declining.”

A vendor wearing a mask arranges merchandise in a party supply store, as Mercado Sonora reopens to the public for the first time in months, Monday, June 15, 2020. As Mexico pushes forward with reopening amidst rising coronavirus infection numbers, the popular market returned Monday with new regulations to help reduce crowds: mandatory mask-wearing and temperature checks, no children, pregnant women, or elderly shoppers allowed, and odd and even number storefronts opening on alternate days. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

The new numbers came Monday as officials in Baja California Sur announced a partial re-opening of tourist resorts. Cancun already partly reopened last week.

The tourism secretary of Baja California Sur, Luis Humberto Araiza, trumpeted Monday that the state’s tourism industry “is back,” even though hotels, restaurants and beaches will be allowed to operate at only 30% capacity.

In the Baja California Sur resort of Los Cabos, beaches began opening Monday with limited hours. Police officers stationed at the El Medano beach Cabo San Lucas told the first bathers “please maintain your distance,” as the sandy expanse opened from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some sunbathers were scattered over the resort’s most popular beach, though nothing like the times before the coronavirus pandemic.

Vendors wearing masks operate every other shop to enable distancing, as Mercado Sonora reopens to the public for the first time in months, Monday, June 15, 2020. As Mexico pushes forward with reopening amidst rising coronavirus infection numbers, the popular market returned Monday with new regulations to help reduce crowds: mandatory mask-wearing and temperature checks, no children, pregnant women, or elderly shoppers allowed, and odd and even number storefronts opening on alternate days. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

More importantly for the economy of the twin resorts, restaurants were allowed to open as were sports fishing charters, but with capacity restriction.

“People should continue complying with sanitary measure like face masks, using hand sanitizing gel, keeping a safe distance and taking temperatures outside businesses,” said Los Cabos Health Director Adán Monroy.

However, local union leader Esteban Vargas Juárez said only about 35% of the resort’s tourism employees were back at work.

Henry Martinez, 75, who has been a subway cleaner since retiring without a pension from his career in topography, wears a respirator as he mops the platform at the Fray Servando stop, which reopened Monday after having been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Monday, June 15, 2020. Although the numbers of infected continue to rise, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Monday urged citizens not to fear the virus and to start coming out of their homes to reactivate the economy.(AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

Commuters ride down an escalator at the Santa Anita stop of the Line 4 subway, several stations of which had been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, as Mexico City expanded public transport options as part of the reopening process, Monday, June 15, 2020. Although the numbers of infected continue to rise, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Monday urged citizens not to fear the virus and to start coming out of their homes to reactivate the economy.(AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

Commuters stand at a distance from each other as they wait to board a train, on the Line 4 subway, several stations of which had been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, as Mexico City expanded public transport options as part of the reopening process, Monday, June 15, 2020. Although the numbers of infected continue to rise, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Monday urged citizens not to fear the virus and to start coming out of their homes to reactivate the economy.(AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)