COVID-19: Mexico City and the metropolitan area are a ticking time bomb

Despite a surge in contagions, the largest market in the city has not enforced physical distancing measures

COVID-19: Mexico City and the metropolitan area are a ticking time bomb
At least 6 million people could be at risk of contracting the virus - Photo: Guillermo Arias/AFP
English 28/04/2020 09:27 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:38
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In Mexico City, four boroughs concentrate 40% of COVID-19 cases: Gustavo A. Madero, Venustiano Carranza, Iztacalco, and Iztapalapa. Moreover, neighboring boroughs in the state of Mexico, which are part of the metropolitan area, have registered over 2,664 cases. 

One week after Mexico entered the third phase of the pandemic, when a surge in contagions is expected, this regions in the metropolitan area are at risk of turning into a problematic area not only for a large number of novel coronavirus cases, but also because of poverty, marginalization, and overpopulation

Together, Iztapalapa and Gustavo A. Madero have 3 million inhabitants. In the state of Mexico, Ecatepec and Nezahualcóyotl have 3 million inhabitants. Therefore, around 6 million people are exposed to the virus, especially because people do not follow physical distancing measures. For example, subway stations Pantitlán and the biggest market in the city, the Central de Abastos, are still overcrowded. 

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On its Monday edition, EL UNIVERSAL documented that the activity inside the Central de Abastos has barely changed: the majority of its clients don’t wear face masks or gloves and some bring other family members along. So far, 25 people have contracted COVID-19 and two merchants have died; despite the situation, people aren’t implementing preventive measures. The situation in this market should be taken seriously, especially since people from all over the city visit the market and could further spread the virus.

The public health emergency is the right time for authorities from Mexico City and the state of Mexico to collaborate, moreover, a specific plan for the eastern region in the metropolitan area is urgent. Measures such as convincing people to stay home, the mandatory use of face masks, as well as controlled access to public places should be implemented by all governments. 

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