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News Article

Health Officials Eye Chihuahua / Call to Lower Interest Rates

By Ricardo Guzman | Fri, 10/23/2020 - 10:59

Health officials eye Chihuahua. Health officials will go to Chihuahua after the US border state reported that it was reverting to red in the COVID-19 epidemiological traffic light, President López Obrador said. “The biggest problem is at the border and we must assess the situation at manufacturing plants, or maquiladoras. The Ojinaga municipality is where we have the most cases reported,” he said. The president noted that IMSS head Zoé Robledo, Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer, Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell and Well-being Institute (INSABI) head Juan Ferrer will handle the case. Yesterday, the Board of Health of Chihuahua announced a downgrade to red, becoming the first state to return to the highest epidemiological level.

Interest rates must go lower. President López Obrador said that banks should promote loans and that interest rates must be reduced even more. “Interest rates are low and have to be even lower. We need to promote loans. I hope that there will be an economic recovery soon,” he said. The president's statement comes after an exchange between Minister of Finance (SHCP) Arturo Herrera and Association of Banks of Mexico head Luis Niño de Rivera on why people are not reaching out to banks for loans. Banxico has been continuously lowering interest rates, pushing the benchmark rate to 4.25 percent.

Lower referendum costs needed. President López Obrador said the Electoral Institute (INE) needs to find a way to lower costs related to the people’s referendum to bring former officials to trial. “Reach an agreement and ensure this democratic exercise does not cost that much,” he said regarding the estimated MX$8 billion (US$380 million) cost to conduct the process. After the House of Representatives approved the popular referendum on “political actors from the past” to be carried out in August 2021 on the first Sunday of midterm elections, the president said the project needs the support and participation of everyone. “Political parties, municipal authorities, state and federal authorities and society can help to lower its costs,” he said. The referendum, pushed by the president since the start of his administration, was initially intended to apply to five former presidents but was changed by the Supreme Court (SCJN) to include all former public officials.

Doctor’s Day set. A decree to set Oct. 23 as Doctor’s Day was signed to recognize all health personnel in Mexico, President López Obrador said. “The awarding of health workers is already being carried out, but there has been no specific decree related to that,” he noted. The president also announced that the federal government will double scholarships for health sector specialists to secure better treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic. At today’s morning briefing, this year's Medical Merit Award was presented to Aura Erazo Valle for her 52-year career at ISSSTE’s November 20 Medical Center. Another 14 health awards to health professionals in several fields were also presented. Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer paid tribute to those who in their fight to save lives, have lost theirs. “The true generosity that a doctor can offer is to give everything today, so that tomorrow we will have a future in which health is not a precious asset,” he said.

Jobs recovery continues in October. To date in October, 148,000 jobs have been recovered, president López Obrador said. “Over 90,000 were recovered in August, in September another 120,000 and so far in October, as of yesterday, another 148,000 jobs are back,” he said and highlighted that if the trend continues, all jobs lost during the pandemic will be back by 1Q21.

 

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Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish

Ricardo Guzman Ricardo Guzman Editor