194 Mexican Deaths; Infections in the Americas RiseBy Ricardo Guzman | Thu, 04/09/2020 - 22:01
The Ministry of Health reported that 194 people have died from COVID-19. Among the deceased in today's report are two cases of women who were pregnant when they became infected, Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell said. Confirmed cases rose to 3,441 while suspected cases increased to 10,105.
During the special daily briefing López-Gatell explained that infections in the Americas are still increasing, while they are lowering in other regions. The officer said that in the next 15 days Mexico will reach a point where Phase 3 can be considered to have begun, but only then will the epidemiological control procedures will be adjusted. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. When those measures arrive we will announce them in a timely manner,” he said.
During today’s report Jorge Enrique Trejo Gómora, Director of the National Center for Blood Transfusion, reported that so far there is no shortage of blood in hospitals though stocks have been reduced.
As of Thursday, April 9
260 new cases (from yesterday)
3,441 confirmed cases nationwide
10,105 under investigation
Impact on markets (19.30 hrs)
US Dollar MX$23.69 (0.49%)
BMV IPC 34,567.78 (-----)
Dow Jones 23,719.37 (1.22%)
Mexico rejects oil agreement
OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, agreed to historic production cuts that will take 10 million barrels per day off the market starting on May and until June, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause a huge drop off in crude demand. Final details of a potential deal have not been set after Mexico refused to cut its production. The agreement came as both the OPEC members and oil-producing nations held an extraordinary meeting to discuss production. Saudi Arabia and Russia will reduce their production 2.5 million barrels per day each, going from 11 million barrels today to 8.5 million barrels in May and June, ending the price war that plunged global oil prices.
Banks preparing loans
Starting May 4, Santander, Banorte and Banco Azteca will distribute one million loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as part of the support program announced by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to businesses affected by the COVID-19 contingency. Loans will be given to formal and informal businesses in urban areas based on a government register. Banks will manage MX$8.3 billion pesos each, which will add up to MX$25 billion.
Call to close beaches
Cabinet members asked governors of the south and southeastern regions of Mexico to guarantee the closure of beaches and tourist sites. In a virtual meeting, federal officers underscored the need to step up the “stay home” campaigns to prevent the massive spread of COVID-19. “Tourist activities are suspended,” Minister of the Interior Olga Sánchez Cordero warned the governors, who agreed to takes measures to avoid to massing of crowds in these regions.
Sheinbaum threatens companies
Mexico City Mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, said she is considering revealing the names of the major companies that have fired employees due to the COVID-19 health emergency. She explained that there are at least 10 companies that dismissed some 12,000 people before the emergency was decreed. Local Minister of Labor Soledad Aragón is communicating with representatives or owners of these companies to address each case.
Agencies’ budgets to reduce 50 percent
Minister of Public Function, Irma Eréndira Sandoval, urged federal government agencies to reduce their budgets for general and operating services by at least 50 percent in order to comply with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador instruction to reinforce his austerity plan and give those resources to the COVID-19 pandemic fight. This reduction does not apply to the Ministry of Health, armed forces and the National Guard, who are actively involved in the contingency plan against the virus.