Mexico City warns of possible tighter COVID-19 restrictions

·1-min read
The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mexico City
The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico City's mayor on Monday warned tighter coronavirus curbs could be imposed later in the week as COVID-19 hospitalizations rise in the sprawling capital.

Hospitalizations in Mexico largest urban area have ticked up for nearly 10 days, and officials are monitoring the trend to determine if it indicates a rise of infections in the metropolis of some 9 million people, which is ringed by dense suburban sprawl.

"We still have time to take preventative measures to keep (hospitalizations) from increasing in the coming weeks," Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum told reporters, noting that hospital beds for coronavirus patients are just under half-full.

Sheinbaum said she did not want to ban any activities outright, but would consider limitations such as reducing the operating hours of some businesses to curb the spread of COVID-19.

"Let's be aware that the pandemic is continuing... we have to keep protecting ourselves," Sheinbaum said.

Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said at his nightly news conference that the federal entity of Mexico City is one of four states in a "stable zone" for new coronavirus cases, while eight states have reversed a downward trend of fewer infections.

Mexico has lost 86,338 lives to the coronavirus pandemic and registered 854,926 infections, according to government data, although the true figures could be much higher.

(Reporting by Raul Cortes, Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Sam Holmes and Sonya Hepinstall)