Mexico City halts reopening due to surge in COVID-19 cases

Mexico City has delayed a planned reopening of businesses until coronavirus infections drop, its mayor has said, as cases continue to surge nationwide.

The city had been hoping to open hotels, restaurants and shopping centres on Saturday as part of its traffic-light system for easing the lockdown, the BBC reported.

But on Friday, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said the capital city would remain at red – the highest level of lockdown – until next week.

As of Friday, hospital-bed occupancy was at 65 per cent and case numbers had not decreased to the point where opening the economy would be possible.

“The activities we announced… cannot open, we’re going to wait for the infections to reduce,” the Mayor said.

The coronavirus pandemic is yet to reach its peak in Mexico, where deaths increased to 20,394 on Friday, one of the highest tolls in the world.

Mexico has reported a total of 170,485 COVID-19 cases to date, but the true number is thought to be much higher because of insufficient testing, said the BBC report.

Mexico City is the worst-affected area in the country.