The federal government has acknowledged the COVID-19 virus as a serious illness that requires priority attention since the number of cases continue to increase, and it has recommended that the inhabitants of the country remain inside of their homes in order to curb the infection.
As such, the Executive Branch of the General Health Council [in Spanish: el Consejo de Salubridad General del Poder Ejecutivo], on March 30, 2020 issued an agreement1 through which:
a) A force majeure health emergency was declared due to the epidemic of the disease caused by the SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) virus; and
b) The Secretariat of Health [in Spanish: la Secretaría de Salud] is authorized to determine what actions are necessary to deal with the emergency mentioned above.
In light of the foregoing, on March 31, 2020, the Secretariat of Health issued: “an Agreement that establishes extraordinary actions to confront the health emergency caused by the SARS-CoV2”2 virus, and whose purpose is to safeguard the health of the Mexicans during the suspension of various activities; except those that are considered essential, such as:
a) Work-related activities in the healthcare, paramedic, administrative, and support fields for the entire National Health System [in Spanish: el Sistema Nacional de Salud].
b) Those involved in the enforcement and administration of justice.
c) Those from essential sectors, namely:
• From tax collection;
• Production, distribution, and sale of energizers;
• Distribution of drinking water;
• Food industry and non-alcoholic beverages;
• Passenger and freight transport services;
• Agricultural, fishing, livestock, and agroindustry production, chemical industry, and cleaning products;
• Hardware stores, courier services, and security guards employed in private security;
• Daycares and childcare facilities, nursing homes for the elderly, shelters and care facilities for women who are victims of violence, their daughters or sons;
• Telecommunications and general news media;
• Personal emergency services, funeral and burial services, warehousing services, and cold chain for essential supplies;
• Logistics (airports, ports, and railways), as well as any activity whose suspension may have irreversible effects on its ability to continue;
d) Those which are directly related to the operations of social welfare programs of the government.
e) Those related to critical infrastructure that ensure the production and distribution of essential services such as drinking water, electric power, natural gas, petroleum, gasoline, kerosene, basic sanitation, public transport, hospital and medical infrastructure.
Given the above, it is shown that those individuals whose economic activity is essential, must, on a mandatory basis, observe the following practices:
• May not have gatherings or reunions of more than 50 people;
• Wash their hands frequently;
• When sneezing or coughing, cover their nose and mouth with a disposable handkerchief or their forearm;
• No greeting with a kiss or shaking of hands or hug (greeting distance), and
• All other sound practices in physical distancing issued by the Secretariat of Health.
Notwithstanding, and independently of work-related activities that are considered essential, home confinement strictly applies to:
• Those individuals who are more than 60 years old;
• Pregnant women;
• Those who are diagnosed with:
- High blood pressure;
- Heart disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and
- Immunosuppression, renal insufficiency or hepatic impairment.
In this respect, the Secretariat of Health urges the population in Mexico, including those who arrive from abroad, not to perform work-related activities that are not essential, and to remain in their homes for as long as possible during the March 30 to April 30, 2020 period.
Additionally, all censuses and surveys in national territory that involve the mass movement of people and physical interaction are postponed until further notice.