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New Quarantine In Mexico City As COVID-19 Cases Rise Again

MEXICO CITY — For months, Mexico City relaxed its measures to control the pandemic. But COVID-19 cases are on the rise and hospitals are getting saturated with patients, which has resulted in a new quarantine started on Saturday and that will last until the beginning of next year.

Mexico City’s government has ordered to shut down most businesses until Jan. 10, except those considered essential, like food, telecoms and medical.

In the past few weeks, the city’s administration had asked the population to stay home as much as possible, keep social distance and wear facemasks. But many malls and retail streets packed for Christmas shopping and now hospital beds are near the limit of their capacity.

Mexico’s Undersecretary of Health Hugo López-Gatell said 2020 and 2021 will be unique years for humankind, forcing everyone to avoid holiday festivities.

Critics say it took too long for the government to call for a new lockdown, as it favored the economy and followed the president’s mixed messages about the pandemic.

Rodrigo Cervantes was KJZZ’s bureau chief in Mexico City from 2016 to 2021.