Friday, April 24th 2020
Mexico Enters Coronavirus Phase 3
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This article was written by one of WeExpats contributors about Mexico entering Phase 3 of the coronavirus pandemic. If you have anything to add to this article, please join in our Facebook discussion. You can click here to share your thoughts!
Mexico Enters Coronavirus Phase 3
Mexico Enters Coronavirus Phase 3 – Introduction:
On Tuesday, April 21st, 2020, the Mexican Undersecretary of Health Hugo Lopez-Gatell announced that Mexico had officially entered Phase 3 of the coronavirus epidemic. This means that an acceleration of cases is to be expected, as is the surge in covid-19 patients in hospitals around the country.
With these measures, we must also push ourselves to social distance more. New restrictions will be in place which will ensure that we emerge from this crisis with as little loss of life as possible—especially in an effort to ease the burden placed on the Mexican healthcare system.
Mexico Enters Coronavirus Phase 3 – What Are the Phases?
– Phase 1: Viral Import Stage –
This is the first phase of the model used to predict the spread of the coronavirus through Mexico. At this stage, a few cases have been imported from other countries and the patient either caught it abroad or someone recently abroad.
In phase 1, isolation of the infected patients, as well as tracking them to see who they were in contact with, is a must. Rudimentary measures to avoid infection are implemented such as universal handwashing.
– Phase 2: Community Transmission Stage –
This is when new patients are catching the virus from their local community, not from foreigners or recent travelers. It gets incrementally difficult to isolate and contain the spread of the virus in this phase. In this phase, sanitary measures become stricter and social distancing is implemented.
This phase is also characterized by canceling all public events, closing down schools, and some companies will begin having their employees work from their private residences.
– Phase 3: Epidemiological Stage –
This is the most critical phase in the coronavirus staging—the one where the virus spreads throughout the entire country. The number of cases grows exponentially. In short, this is the peak phase. In response, the government issues the strictest measures in social distances possible.
In addition, this is the phase when the healthcare system in Mexico is expected to be overwhelmed as covid-19 cases saturate every hospital bed. Unfortunately, Mexico has just entered this phase.
– Phase 4: Subsequent Stage –
This stage is characterized by an overall decline in cases across Mexico. However, there are likely to be flare-ups or spots that experience a second wave. This phase will occur between the 3rd and the 9th month of the overall pandemic. It will also implement a weakening of social distancing protocol.
In this phase, it’s the responsibility of the government to ensure that hospital resources are allocated in an efficient method so that hospitals and regional healthcare systems are not overwhelmed and the virus remains relatively contained.
– Phase 5: End of Pandemic Stage –
The World Health Organization will be in charge of declaring the end of the pandemic. However, this phase will be characterized by an overall end to flare-ups around Mexico. This will most likely be because of the development of a vaccine. No one can say when we will enter Phase 5 for certain.
Mexico Enters Coronavirus Phase 3 – What Can We Expect Entering Phase 3?
Phase 3 will be the most intense phase of the coronavirus spread in Mexico. There will be an accelerated progression of infections and cases will be measured in the thousands.
Lopez-Gatell stated that the goal of the Department for Prevention and Health Promotion is to slow the progression into Phase 3 to allow the healthcare system a chance to adapt to the oncoming conditions so that every covid-19 patient can be treated.
One of the most important things to realize is that Phase 3 will show coordination between the federal health systems and the armed forces (the DN-III Plan and the Marine Plan).
All massive social institutions including schools and most workplaces will be suspended throughout the country. This includes places of social gathering like beaches, malls, and parks.
Furthermore, the stay-at-home protocol will be implemented throughout the entire country—and we even might see penalties for violators. In addition, Mexicans are still urged to avoid kissing on the cheek to say hello, as well as shaking hands, hugging, and any non-essential physical contact.
*It is wise to note that the Undersecretary of Health has publicly stated that a total confinement is not feasible in Mexico like we have seen in China, Italy, and Spain. More than half of the country lives in abject poverty and the realities of quarantine aren’t feasible for this social stratum.
Mexico Enters Coronavirus Phase 3 – What Restrictions are in Place in Phase 3?
The government has placed several societal restrictions on the management of public spaces in order to ensure society will continue to function while protecting the population as best as possible. Such restrictions include:
- All enclosed public spaces have been shut down such as theaters, cinemas, malls, and auditoriums.
- All events in public spaces have also been closed, such as stadiums, parks, water parks, and beaches.
- All classes have been suspended in high schools, universities, and K-12 schools.
- All non-essential activities in the private, public, and social sectors are in full force on a national level. Any
- worker able to work from home must do so.
In addition, you may expect your local government to apply its own rules and regulations. For example, in Mexico City, these are some measures that are being implemented. They may be similar to those in your area:
- 20% of Lightrail, Metrobus, and Metro (subway) stations will be closed.
- Buses and colectivos will be limiting the number of people who can board (people will no longer be able to stand in the aisles), however, they will be increasing the frequency of routes to make up for this.
- Any exemptions stickers for the Hoy No Circulas program will no longer be exempt.
- Taxi drivers, freight operators, disabled individuals, health workers, and medical personnel are exempt from all traffic prohibitions.
- Public spaces and public transportations will see an increase in public sanitation
- Thorough checks will be placed on companies who are not complying with safety measures.
Mexico Enters Coronavirus Phase 3 – Conclusion:
Phase 3 is the most serious phase, with the peak of Phase 3 expected to hit in the first half of May. This is the crunch time, when locals and expats all have to do their part to self-quarantine, social-distance, and ensure the health of the community so that our lives can get back to normal as soon as possible.
It is estimated that between 175,000 and 300,000 people will be infected with the coronavirus. However, only a minority of these people will be sent to the hospital. A vast majority (estimated 70%) will experience no symptoms to light symptoms at worst.
However, we must remember that we are social distancing to protect those few that will experience the heaviest of symptoms, be they elderly, infirmed, or simply have an overactive immunoreaction to the virus.
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