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  • Trucks wait in the queue for border customs control to cross into U.S.at the Bridge of Americas in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, August 15, 2017.

    Trucks wait in the queue for border customs control to cross into U.S.at the Bridge of Americas in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, August 15, 2017. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 13 March 2020

Bolivia and Venezuela are also taking measures to confront the pandemic.

Mexico would consider mechanisms to control the flow of people entering Mexico from the United States in an effort to limit coronavirus, if necessary, deputy health secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Friday.

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Mexico has so far confirmed 15 cases of coronavirus with no deaths, a fraction of the more than 1,000 cases in the United States, where dozens of people have died.

That has led some in Mexico to see contagion from the United States as a threat.

“The possible flow of coronavirus would come from the north to the south. If it were technically necessary, we would consider mechanisms of restriction or stronger surveillance,” Lopez-Gatell told a news conference.

Meanwhile, the Bolivian government announced Thursday that starting on Saturday, it will suspend flights from Europe and implement other measures to prevent the coronavirus from affecting the landlocked South American country.

Other measures to contain the virus were also agreed to, including suspending all school classes until March 31 and prohibiting “massive public events” with more than 1,000 people in attendance, including concerts, sports events, cultural, and religious events.

Bolivia currently has three confirmed coronavirus cases, two of them women who had been in Italy, one of the hardest-hit countries, and a young man who had traveled to Madrid.

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro also announced on Thursday that he was suspending all flights from Europe and Colombia for one month as an addition “to the preventive measures on the international level” regarding the coronavirus, which – he said – has not yet spread to Venezuela.

He also declared an “ongoing state of emergency” in the Venezuelan health care system in terms of prevention, protection, and preparation “to attend to the cases that might be detected at any time.”

Maduro also ordered the cancellation of mass gatherings of any kind, and he said that the flight ban could be extended to other countries “as needed” and refused to rule out closing the borders with Colombia and Brazil, two states in which cases of the virus have been diagnosed.

He also asked President Trump to put aside “ideological differences” and lift the U.S. sanctions on Venezuela to facilitate the purchase of more testing kits and medical materials.

Also, the Venezuelan government reported that about 30 suspected cases of coronavirus had been tested over the past three weeks, but all of those people tested negative.

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