News Article

Phase 3 of the Pandemic Starts / Optimism in the Face of Crisis

By Ricardo Guzman | Tue, 04/21/2020 - 11:53

Phase 3 of the pandemic starts. Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell said Phase 3 of the COVID-19 pandemic has started and that all mandatory guidelines would be detailed by the ministry. “We are in the phase of rapid escalation where a large number of cases and hospitalizations are expected,” he said, explaining that different phases are characterized not only by the number of cases, but by the dynamics of the transmission. López-Gatell called on the people to continue abiding by all national measures issued by the Ministry of Health, such as the temporary suspension of non-essential work activities and social distancing.

Optimism in the face of crisis. Despite oil prices dropping into negative territory for the first time, the depreciation of the peso and poor forecasts by rating agencies and banks, Mexico has all it needs to move forward from the crisis, President López Obrador said. He explained that Mexico has all the resources to distribute among the people so they can satisfy their basic needs and that the poorest have nothing to fear, since his support programs will reach 70 percent of the population. To overcome the escalating crisis, the federal government will “tighten its belt” even more but without firing state workers. “The formula is efficiency, honesty, austerity and justice,” he said.

Oil report on Thursday. Finance Minister (SHCP) Arturo Herrera, Energy Minister Rocío Nahle and PEMEX Director Octavio Romero will attend the daily morning briefing on Thursday to report on the national plan to face the oil price crisis, President López Obrador said. It was not clear if the delayed investment plan with the private sector for the oil and gas industry will be also discussed.

Back to school on June 1. Secretary of Public Education (SEP) Esteban Moctezuma announced that schools nationwide will resume on June 1 and that the closure of the 2020 school year will be delayed to July 17, instead of July 6 as originally planned. “We will rescue the school year. On June 1, the entire country will return to school, and from May 17 in risk-free municipalities,” Moctezuma said.

Proposal for INFONAVIT. To avoid abandonment of buildings, create jobs and prevent abuse by financial brokers, President López Obrador is evaluating the possibility of directly granting housing loans to workers through INFONAVIT. “In the case of INFONAVIT, what I am proposing is that loans be delivered directly to workers. If the loan totals MX$400,000, then all of it can be given to the worker with no intermediation,” he said and lamented that half of the money usually is given to institutions.


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Ricardo Guzman Ricardo Guzman Editor