Americans returning from the Thanksgiving break faced strict new coronavirus measures around the country Monday as health officials brace for a disastrous worsening of the nationwide surge. (Dec. 1)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans to avoid all travel to Mexico as the country grapples with rising COVID-19 deaths.
The CDC has currently placed Mexico in the Level 4 risk category, which is the highest risk level for COVID-19. If anyone must travel to Mexico, the CDC recommends getting a viral test one to three days prior to traveling as well as prior to returning to the United States.
The organization also says to wear a face mask during travel, says travelers should get tested three to five days after travel and says travelers should stay home for seven days after travel.
On Monday, the head of the World Health Organization said that “Mexico is in bad shape” with the pandemic and urged its leaders be serious about the coronavirus and set examples for its citizens.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s comments came as Mexico’s death toll rose to 105,940 – the fourth highest in the world – with 1,113,543 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus. The country’s actual numbers are believed to be much higher partly because of low testing levels.
Dressed in protective gear to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, military surgeon, Coronel Oscar Benavides Aguilar talks to a patient who is speaking to her daughter via a tablet, at a military hospital set up to take care of COVID-19 patients in Mexico City, Monday, November 30, 2020. As of last Friday, Mexico reported a record daily increase in the number of coronavirus cases, with Mexico City reporting the biggest portion of the surge in cases. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte) (Photo: Marco Ugarte, AP)
“The number of increasing cases and deaths in Mexico is very worrisome,” he said in a press briefing.
Mexican President Andrés López Obrador has been criticized for often not wearing a mask and while not mentioning names or specific cases, the WHO chief urged the country’s leaders to take the pandemic seriously.
“We would like to ask Mexico to be very serious,” he said. “We have said it in general, wearing a mask is important, hygiene is important and physical distancing is important and we expect leaders to be examples …”
The Mexican government’s pointman on the pandemic, Hugo López-Gatell, said all the comments are valuable but noted the government had already warned that with the arrival of winter the situation would worsen. According its latest data, the pandemic has grown by 7% in the past week.
Is it safe to travel for the holidays? This COVID-19 risk assessment map can help you decide
Contributing: Charles Trepany
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