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Domestic Contagions Reach 3 Percent

By Ricardo Guzman | Wed, 03/25/2020 - 21:11

Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell said a 70-year-old man from San Luis Potosí, with a history of hypertension and obesity, has become the sixth person to die from COVID-19 in Mexico. “He had contact with a person who traveled to the United States,” he said in the March 25 press briefing. López-Gattel said that 13 confirmed cases had been confirmed from people not suspected to have caught the virus abroad, implying that case due to domestic spread now account for 3 percent of the total confirmed cases. “This will be increasing,” he said. López-Gattel said starting tomorrow the entire federal government will suspend all non-essential activities.

 

As of Wednesday, March 25

70        new cases (from yesterday)

475      confirmed cases nationwide

1,656   under investigation

6          deaths

 

Impact on markets (19.30 hrs)

US Dollar         MX$24.29       (-3.28%)

BMV IPC         35,536.7          (2.81%)

Dow Jones      21,875.35        (5. 65%)

 

 

Banks can defer loans

People will be able to freeze their bank loans for up to six months, the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) has reported. Support was decided to help public fight the financial impact caused by the health crisis. “Support will consist of the partial or total deferral of payments and/or interest for up to four months, with the possibility of extending an additional two months,” said to the agency. Mortgage-backed housing loans, revolving and non-revolving loans such as automotive credit, personal loans, payroll credit, credit cards and microcredits, as well as commercial loans for companies or persons with business activity, will be included.

 

Mercedes trucks and buses stop

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Mercedes-Benz Autobuses and Daimler Trucks México will suspend operations at their plants from March 30 until April 22, the company has reported. Mercedes said that purchased vehicles are guaranteed delivery in the coming weeks and that customer support will be still available for sales and client support. After-sales service will also continue on a regular basis through the network of dealers, of which there are more than 80.

 

More laboratories will perform COVID-19 tests

Six private laboratories were added to the list of those authorized by health authorities to perform COVID-19 tests, bringing the total number to eight. Olarte and Akle Bacteriólogo, Labiomola, Hospital Español and Médica Sur, all of them based in Mexico City, were included in the new list disclosed by the Ministry of Health. Lister Laboratories, with 40 branches in Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí and Veracruz and Biomédicos de Yucatán complete the new selected laboratories. Medical Center ABC Observatorio and Hospital Angeles Interlomas were already authorized by the Ministry of Health and will keep testing patients.

 

Moody's slashes forecast

Moody's updated its growth forecast for the Mexican economy in 2020 to a 3.7 percent contraction, from the 0.9 percent reduction forecasted early in March. The ratings agency estimated that for the first quarter of the year the Mexican economy will contract 5.2 percent due to the country's high dependence to the US and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. “An additional source of vulnerability is the sharp reduction in tourism, which represents around 16 percent of Mexico's GDP,” the agency noted.

 

Tourism Business Council proposal

The National Tourism Business Council has proposed a 14 point action-plan to fight the COVID-19 pandemic to the federal government, including the extension of six months in the annual tax declaration period. The council presented the proposal to President López Obrador to avoid bankruptcy of companies already affected by the health crisis. The action plan is divided in two stages, one applicable during the pandemic and the other after the emergency is over and when the economic recovery phase starts.

 

Cinemex closes

Cinemex announced the temporary closure of all its theaters in Mexico until further notice, hoping that the current health crisis will also have “a happy ending” as happens in the movies. “We have decided to temporarily close all our Cinemex, Alboa and Arena complexes. To our guests who have tickets for shows that have not been carried out, we ask them to contact us through the mail: buzon@cinemex.net,” the company said in a statement.

 

Verification centers will close

The 60 vehicle-pollution emission verification centers of Mexico City will stop working as of today and will reopen in the third week of April, the local Secretary of the Environment (Sedema) announced. The verification period for vehicles with a pink plate, finishing numbers 7 and 8, as well as red plates or 3 and 4, was extended until May and June, respectively.

 

IMSS trains staff

The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) has trained 140,000 doctors and nurses on COVID-19, Education, Research and Policy Unit IMSS head Ana Carolina Sepúlveda said. More than 4,000 courses have been given including face-to-face trainings carried out in sessions with small groups, which are organized by the education directors and epidemiologists from each unit. Sepúlveda also highlighted the coordination with experts on topics to be addressed in each course.

Ricardo Guzman Ricardo Guzman Editor

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