During a news conference, Dr. Hugo López Gatell , the epidemiologist leading the efforts against the virus, announced the third phase would be now implemented.
At this stage, experts expect a surge in contagions and cases that require hospitalization , therefore, Dr- López-Gatell asked people to stay home and implement physical distancing measures.
The decision was made by the General Health Council , formed by high-ranking officials.
Recommended: Mexico's COVID-19 contingency plan: three key phases
Despite a possible increase in contagions, in locations where there are no COVID-19 cases, people are expected to return to work and school on May 18, while implementing physical distancing measures.
The partial lockdown on large cities could be lifted on June 1.
Months ago, when the COVID-19 started to spread throughout the world, Mexico’s Health Ministry and the epidemiology department announced a 3-phase contingency plan to prevent the spread of the virus .
Now that Mexico has entered this stage, the country is bracing for the worst period of the epidemy .
expect to register thousands of cases; around 175,000 and 300,000 could have contracted COVID-19 by this stage.
During phase 3, people are not allowed to kiss, hug, or shake hands. Additionally, all public events are canceled. However, other measures such as closing schools were implemented during phase 1.
Dr. López-Gatell reminded people of the importance of staying home, as this could help to prevent the collapse of Mexico’s healthcare system .