Mexico begins lifting lockdown despite fears of COVID-19 onslaught

WION Web Team
Mexico City, Mexico Published: May 19, 2020, 10:45 AM(IST)

Workers from US auto parts maker Aptiv Plc arrive at the plant during the coronavirus outbreak in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The move to loosen restrictions follow growing pressure from the United States to reopen factories that are vital to supply chains of US-based businesses, especially in the vast automotive sector.

Mexico issued guidelines on Monday for restarting operations in the automotive, mining and construction sectors, pushing ahead with reopening the economy despite a growing national toll from the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns about unsafe work sites.

The move to loosen restrictions follow growing pressure from the United States to reopen factories that are vital to supply chains of US-based businesses, especially in the vast automotive sector.

Companies wanting to resume construction, mining and manufacturing activities could apply for permission starting Monday, according to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Also read: IMF chief warns full global economic recovery unlikely in 2021

''We need to maintain discipline, not relax this discipline since we’re almost there,'' said López Obrador, commonly called Amlo.

''I have a lot of faith and many expectations that we’re going to finish taming this pandemic.''

However, local authorities across the country have resisted the President’s call to lift emergency coronavirus measures in municipalities, warning that the pandemic is ''far from over.''

Mexico’s reopening plans have drawn criticism from some politicians worried that the still-rising pandemic tide in Latin America makes it unsafe to send more people to work.

The country has registered nearly 50,000 Covid-19 cases and more than 5,000 deaths, and its testing rate ranks among the lowest in Latin America, with just 0.4 tests per 1,000 people.

As a result, officials are wrestling with how to restart key industries without triggering a greater spread of the highly contagious respiratory virus.

 

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