- Title: Mexico suspends large gatherings over coronavirus, helps small businesses
- Date: 24th March 2020
- Summary: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (MARCH 24, 2020) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF ZOCALO (MAIN SQUARE) EMPTY STREET WOMAN AND CHILD EXTERIOR OF METRO STATION WOMAN BUYING FOOD WITH HER FACE MASKED GENERAL VIEW OF PEOPLE EATING GENERAL VIEW OF NEWS CONFERENCE FOR MEXICAN PRESIDENT ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR LOPEZ OBRADOR ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE DEPUTY HEALTH MINISTER HUGO LOPEZ GATELL ARRIVING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEPUTY HEALTH MINISTER HUGO LOPEZ GATELL SAYING: "We want to formally declare the beginning of phase two. The beginning of Phase Two allows us to chart the horizon for the next thirty to forty days, where we will begin to visualize Mexico as having anticipated the general measures two weeks before - the massive measures that have the biggest impacts both in reducing transmission and unfortunately also the social consequences we will be able to bend the curve we will be able to have less transmission.: GENERAL VIEW OF NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEPUTY HEALTH MINISTER HUGO LOPEZ GATELL SAYING: "All private, public, social government meetings should be avoided throughout the month so that the spread is reduced. This is an effective prevention mechanism for those who would participate in those meetings but also for the entire community. Also to temporarily suspend work activities - but what are they? Those that involve the mobilization of people from their homes to work and back or that are leading to mobilization in the public space - this in all sectors of society, the public, the private and the social." GENERAL VIEW OF NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MEXICAN PRESIDENT ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR SAYING: "Surely, surely, everyone, surely the government is going to get ahead of it through the strength of our people, the people of Mexico are prepared to face any adversity." GENERAL VIEW OF NEWS CONFERENCE VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF HOSPITAL VARIOUS OF PEOPLE RECEIVING HAND SANITIZER AS THEY ENTER THE HOSPITAL (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) 65-YEAR-OLD VENDOR, ANGEL, SAYING: "Yes, it is delicate but well, the economy is going to be affected quite a lot, because really in people like me who live day-to-day - you can see what I bring - if they arrest us or quarantine us, it will affect us a lot." EXTERIOR OF HOSPITAL PEOPLE OUTSIDE HOSPITAL WEARING FACE MASKS EMERGENCY VEHICLES OUTSIDE OF HOSPITAL SIGN EXPLAINING THAT THE HOSPITAL WILL ONLY SEE URGENT CASES DUE TO CONSTRUCTION EXTERIOR OF HOSPITAL
- Keywords: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador COVID-19 Hugo Lopez Gatell Phase 2
- Reuters ID: LVA001C6EXFT3
- Location: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- City: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- Country: Mexico
- Duration: 00:03:59
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: Mexico will suspend all large public and private gatherings for a month as it attempts to contain the spread of coronavirus, while extending support to small businesses, government officials said on Tuesday (March 24).
Speaking at a regular news briefing, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said Mexico has seen an increase in non-imported coronavirus cases and the government will step up mitigation measures.
"We have decided to temporarily suspend events with 100 people or more," Lopez-Gatell said. "All gatherings - public, private, governmental, social - must be avoided throughout the month."
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador also suggested that the titans of Mexican industry are stepping up, noting that billionaire Carlos Slim told him that he will not lay off any workers during the coronavirus crisis. A spokesman for Slim's companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lopez Obrador has received criticism for his relatively relaxed response to the coronavirus so far. During the news conference Tuesday morning, his cabinet ministers stood on stage in a neat line, failing to respect the 1.5-meter (5-foot) distance recommended by the health ministry.
Nevertheless, Lopez-Gatell stressed Mexico would intensify measures now that the virus has begun spreading through "community transmission," rather than simply people returning to Mexico after traveling to countries hit hard by the disease.
To address the economic fallout from the coronavirus, the government will give 1 million low-interest loans to small businesses in the country, Lopez Obrador said.
He also stressed that the government has enough resources to maintain social programs and confront falling oil prices, as well as to proceed with signature projects such as the Mayan train and a refinery near the southern port of Dos Bocas.
(Production: Carlos Carrillo, Josue Gonzalez)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Embargoed:7th April 2020 18:20
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