At least two months after Mexico implemented physical distancing measures and declared a health emergency , 269 municipalities in 15 states can resume their activities and transition towards a “new normal.” But despite the order to return to their everyday activities , there is reticence and some communities refuse to re-open.
Moreover, according to the vulnerability index created by the Mexican Center of Industrial Ecology, over 60% of the population in 6 of the 15 states resuming activities are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 : Veracruz, Jalisco, Puebla, Guanajuato, Chiapas, and Nuevo León.
Experts have warned that in 157 of the 269 municipalities, the population is not necessarily COVID-1 9 -free. Since the communities have around 2,500 inhabitants, the numbers of tests applied must be between zero and three: “the smaller the population, the possibility, statistically, to classify it as free of contagions increases.”
Recommended: Mexico overtakes China's COVID-19 death toll
In Guerrero , a state with high poverty rates, the 12 municipalities that were supposed to resume their activities decided to remain closed. Poverty, the lack of public services , doctors , and hospitals make these communities more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus .
Throughout the country, dozens of communities report that up to 75% of the population doesn’t have running water , live in overcrowded spaces, and homes that lack bathrooms. Furthermore, the majority of these communities lack the recommended number of doctors per inhabitants, as suggested by the World Health Organization ; for example, in La Montaña, Guerrero , the nearest hospital is 8 hours away.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic , allowing several municipalities to resume their activities, inhabited by the most vulnerable population, is a risk. If a COVID-19 outbreak is registered in the mountains, will there be medical attention available? Will the government provide face masks and hand sanitizer to these communities? Which protocol will be implemented in case of an outbreak ? All the possible scenarios must be considered before making a decision that could be premature .
Recommended: COVID-19 Live Updates: Mexico