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Yucatan’s rough 7-day ride handling new coronavirus cases

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A sign reads, in Spanish, “Coronavirus. Stay Home,” in Iztapalapa, Mexico City. Mexico has had extremely limited testing compared with other countries, another factor that experts have said made it difficult for the country to contain the virus. AP Photo: Rebecca Blackwell

The busiest seven days so far in Yucatan’s fight against the coronavirus started with a huge acceleration in new infections.

On April 30, 45 people were found to be infected, a daily record until three days later when 55 new cases were detected. In the previous week, daily new infections were between five and 36.

Deaths showed no sign of letting up. On Thursday, for only the second time since the crisis began, the number of fatalities in a day reached six. The number of COVID-19 deaths in Yucatan reached 63.

The nation reported its largest one-day increase so far in confirmed coronavirus cases, with almost 2,000 new infections nationwide — a 7.2% increase compared from Wednesday’s rise. Total deaths neared the 3,000 mark.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that the peak of coronavirus infections in Mexico City is expected to end May 20.

A May 7 map shows the spread of coronavirus fairly evenly spread throughout Merida. Photo: Courtesy

But doctors in overwhelmed hospitals said hundreds or even thousands of deaths have not been counted. Mexico City’s officials have tallied more than three times as many fatalities in the capital than the government publicly acknowledges, according to the New York Times.

No aid for ‘potentates’

Meanwhile, Lopez Obrador rejected a proposal from the Business Coordinating Council to acquire public debt to face the economic crisis.

“We are not going to continue with more of the same, there will be no ransoms for potentates,” said Lopez Obrador. “If there is a bankruptcy for a company, then it is the businessman who assumes responsibility, or the partners or shareholders.”

In response, the private initiative objected to calling aid “ransom” and noted that entrepreneurs most at risk are medium, small and micro.

Despite the dire news, foreign-owned auto plants began setting dates for reopening.

Volkswagen de Mexico said late Thursday it is planning to reopen its assembly plant in Puebla and its engine factory in Guanajuato on June 1.

General Motors workers in Guanajuato reported getting notices to report for work on May 18.

Pressure was growing for Mexico to re-open manufacturing activities. The country has lost about 500,000 jobs because of the pandemic lockdown.

In late March, the U.S. government suggested the supply chain of the North American free trade zone could be permanently affected if they didn’t resume production.

With information from Yucatan Health Ministry, The Associated Press, The New York Times

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