COVID-19 in Oaxaca

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Introduction

coronavirus

This page will cover the effects and history of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the Mexican state of Oaxaca focusing on the area around Puerto Escondido.

The Coronavirus or COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China in December of 2019. In January 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and in March a pandemic.

January

11 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

February

28 February 2020, 3 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Mexico.[1]

March

1 March 2020, 5 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Mexico.[2]

11 March, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic

14 March, 197 cases of Coronavirus confirmed in Mexico.[3]

AMLO with his amulets

18 March, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the President of Mexico, tells the Mexican people with religious amulets and a prayer, that they will be protected from COVID-19. You can watch the video of him doing so, in Spanish, HERE.

20 March, all schools closed until 30 April.

The U.S., Canada and Mexico agree to restrict all non-essential travel across their shared land borders in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

23 March, the Municipal of San Pedro closes all bars until further notice. Large gathering of people are also prohibited. All businesses are required to have a place to wash hands with soap and water at the businesses entrance. All employees of restaurants or places that serve food are required to wear face masks and gloves. Copy of the ordinance in Spanish can be seen here: Page 1 (of 2) and Page 2 (of 2).

26 March, in the state of Oaxaca there are 8 confirmed cases, 24 suspicious cases and 38 confirmed negative cases.[4]

29 March, the Municipal de Zipolite has closed down the (nudist) beach of Zipolite to stop the spread of the coronavirus.[5]

30 March, Mexico declares a national health emergency suspends non-essential business activities.

April 1-14

1 April, according to Mexico's Health department there were 1378 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mexico.[6]

coronavirus in Oaxaca

According to Oaxaca's Health Department, there were 158 cases of possible coronavirus in Oaxaca. Of those 158 cases, 114 tested negative for COVID-19. There were 22 suspicious but unconfirmed cases and 22 confirmed cases; of those 22 confirmed cases, 4 were serious and there was one death.[7]

The Municipal of San Pedro starts offering food to disabled and older people in need in the cities of San Pedro, Bajos de Chila and Puerto Escondido who are being effected by economic problems caused by COVID-19.

closed hotel

2 April, Mexican Tourism and Health officials order hotels to close for nonessential business. Non-resident foreign citizens are advised to make preparations to return to their home countries.

restaurant closed

The Governor of Oaxaca bans on non-essential businesses. Church gatherings are banned. Restaurants are only allowed to sell food to go. Banks, pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, markets, corner stores, gas stations, airports and public transport are allowed to remain open.[8] The bans on non-essential businesses is mostly ignored in Puerto Escondido. The picture to the right or just below says in Spanish, "Dear Client, due to COVID-19, by order of the federal government, we only have food to go or by house delivery. Thank you for your understanding. Pizzeria El Domino."

The Governor of Oaxaca orders all beaches closed until 30 April.

Road blocks preventing entry into small towns by outsiders are appearing.

5 April, police are driving around Puerto Escondido with loud speakers reminding people of the quarantine and asking for the public to stay at home.

Chedraui and other larger grocery stores by order of Mexico's Health Department will only allow people over the age 60 into their store from the hours of 7 to 9. After 9, Chedraui employees will get the merchandise for people over the age of 60. Only one adult per family will be allowed into the store (for social distancing).

Alcoholic beverages can be sold until 6 pm in Puerto Escondido. Quarantines are causing an increase in domestic violence.

7 April, Highway 200 is closed to bus traffic by the municipal of Colotepec. The ADO bus terminal in Puerto Escondido is closed. The Highway is still open to other traffic through Colotepec.

8-12 April, Huatulco has the first confirmed case COVID-19 found on the coast of Oaxaca. The hospital in Huatulco tried to transport their patient to the hospital in Pochutla, but the residents of Pochutla blocked the entrances into the city preventing his entry. He died in Huatulco 11 April.[9]

9 April, Mexican Health Department estimates there are 26,000 cases of COVID-19 in Mexico.[10]

Pinotepa Nacional has closed Highway 200 to buses and suburbans. Outsiders are not being allowed to enter the city.

The airport in Huatulco was blocked.

10 April, all road ways into Puerto Escondido are blocked to prevent the entry of buses and suburbans into Puerto Escondido. Locals and food deliveries are being allowed through. Highway 200 is blocked at the bridge at Colotepec. On the San Pedro side of the town, Highway 200 is blocked at Las Negras and 131 is blocked at Toledo. If you are trying to pass through Toledo, you will be asked questions such as: Where are you quarantining at? Where are you from? Why did you leave? The word on the street is do not leave town if you do not have to, you might not be able to get back.

Airport in Huatulco is blocked. Citizens want the Airports of Huatulco and Puerto Escondido closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

12 April, alerted by an anonymous citizen, San Pedro police found thirty surfers surfing at Punta Colorado in Puerto Escondido. The surfers were kicked off the beach and their vehicles were impounded.[11]

April 15-30

15 April, according to Mexico's Health department there were 9707 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mexico.[12]

According to Oaxaca's Health Department, there were 453 cases of possible coronavirus in Oaxaca. Of those 453 cases, 341 tested negative for COVID-19. There were 62 suspicious but unconfirmed cases, 50 confirmed cases; there were five deaths. On the coast of Oaxaca, there are three confirmed cases and there was one death.[13]

road block

The Municipal of Santos Reyes Nopala is closing its borders from 15-30 April.[14]

17 April, in South Korea roughly 2% of patients who have fully recovered from COVID-19 are relapsing and are being placed into isolation again. The reason for this is not understood but a likely possibility is reactivation of remaining viruses in patients' systems.[16]

According to Oaxaca Político the state of Oaxaca has among the lowest rates of people staying at home or self isolating to prevent the spread of COVID-19 of all Mexican states.[17] From my own observations, there is an effort made for social distancing but almost no one bothers wearing a face mask. I also have noticed less children and teenagers on the streets, I assume their parents are keeping their children closer to home.

19 April, the state of Oaxaca requires the use of a face mask when in public spaces. The compulsory use of mask was never enforced and mostly ignored in Puerto Escondido.

20 April, the U.S., Canada and Mexico agree to extend the restriction of all nonessential travel across their shared border in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The original restriction began March 20, 2020.

There are two confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the Puerto Escondido area (one from Bajos de Chila and the other in Puerto Escondido) and four confirmed cases in Huatulco. The two cases in Puerto Escondido have fled the Puerto area but returned and recovered.

A new ordinance from San Pedro created a curfew from 10pm-5am. The first day of the curfew 25 people were detained, 24 were fined 250 pesos each (about U.S. $10), one was released without a fine (a known drunk). Other times, first time violators were just held overnight and released the next morning. The intent of the curfew was to prevent parties where social distancing would likely be ignored, preventing crime was an added benefit. The curfew was rescinded the second of May and was reimposed May 19th. Many municipals in Oaxaca had similar curfews; Colotepec never had a curfew.

24 April, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) "there is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection."[18]

chedraui

Chedraui is a major supermarket chain in Mexico. It is also the biggest store in Puerto Escondido. In Chedraui the use of a face mask is mandatory and temperatures are taken at the entrance. Children and pregnant women are not allowed to enter. People over the age of 60 were only allowed in between the hours of 7-9am. On July 16, Chedraui ended its discriminatory rule towards people over the age of 60. (One time I had to show my ID to prove I was under 60, reminded me of a time I had show an id to buy beer.)

May 1-14

1 May, according to Mexico's Health department there were 29,811 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mexico.[19]

coronavirus in Oaxaca

According to Oaxaca's Health Department, there were 818 cases of possible coronavirus in Oaxaca. Of those 818 cases, 574 tested negative for COVID-19. There were 97 suspicious but unconfirmed cases and 147 confirmed cases; there were 20 deaths. On the coast of Oaxaca, there was 1 suspicious case, 10 confirmed cases and 2 deaths.[20]

2 May, the curfew laws of San Pedro (and Puerto Escondido) are rescinded.

6 May, the third confirmed case of Coronavirus-19 has been found in Puerto Escondido.

tunnel

8 May, Mercado Benito Juárez creates three points of control into the market. Masks are required to enter the market. Children are banned from the market. The points of control have a plastic tunnel to enter where shoppers get sprayed with a disinfectant. Having gone through it, I can tell you the disinfectant had no odor or taste, it was no big deal.

The plastic tunnels proved to be unpopular in the market and were moved to the entrances of various businesses in town for a few weeks and then either broke down or found new places to be used outside of Puerto Escondido. The entrances into the market are still guarded, one must wash their hands or use disinfectant gel. Face masks are still required and sometimes children are not allowed into the market.

Just outside of the market most people do not use masks and ignore social distancing. Most people think the coronavirus is not real or a conspiracy of some sort.

Restaurants in San Pedro are allowed to reopen up to 50% occupancy.

May 15-31

15 May, according to Mexico's Health department there were 60,850 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mexico.[21]

coronavirus in Oaxaca

According to Oaxaca's Health Department, there were 818 cases of possible coronavirus in Oaxaca. Of those 818 cases, 574 tested negative for COVID-19. There were 97 suspicious but unconfirmed cases and 147 confirmed cases; there were 20 deaths. On the coast of Oaxaca, there was 1 suspicious case, 10 confirmed cases and 2 deaths.[22]

19 May, the curfew of San Pedro is initiated again, from 22:30 to 5:00.

Oxxo rules

The following pictures of signs are from the entrance of a convenient store called "Oxxo" in Puerto Escondido. Oxxo similar to "7-11" convenient stores in the U.S. Signs like these can be found in stores throughout Oaxaca. The sign to the right or just below says: Dear client, because of government rules we ask for no more than 5 clients in the store at a time, only that one member of a family enter, use a face mask, maintain a social distance of 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) and use antibacterial gel.

The photo below states that alcohol will be sold until 6pm. The red sign states that only 5 customers are allowed into the store at a time to maintain safe social distancing.

June 1-15

1 June, according to Mexico's Health department there were 60,850 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mexico.[23]

coronavirus in Oaxaca

According to Oaxaca's Health Department, there were 3673 cases of possible coronavirus in Oaxaca. Of those 3673 cases, 1543 tested negative for COVID-19. There were 618 suspicious but unconfirmed cases and 1512 confirmed cases; there were 164 deaths. On the coast of Oaxaca, there were 15 suspicious case, 70 confirmed cases and 7 deaths.[24]

June 15-30

15 June, according to Mexico's Health department there are 60,850 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mexico.[a]

coronavirus en Oaxaca

According to Oaxaca's Health Department, there were 6276 cases of possible coronavirus in Oaxaca. Of those 6276 cases, 2472 tested negative for COVID-19. There are 610 suspicious but unconfirmed cases and 3194 confirmed cases; there were 365 deaths. On the coast of Oaxaca, there were 23 suspicious case, 133 confirmed cases and 13 deaths.[25]

July

coronavirus en Oaxaca

According to Oaxaca's Health Department, there were 9877 cases of possible coronavirus in Oaxaca. Of those 9877 cases, 3124 tested negative for COVID-19. There were 1344 suspicious but unconfirmed cases and 5409 confirmed cases; there have been 600 deaths. On the coast of Oaxaca, there were 45 suspicious case, 213 confirmed cases and 22 deaths.[26]

Mexican Professional Baseball suspended for 2020. Mexican sport events are not permitted to have spectators to prevent the spread of COVID-19 which has caused Mexico's Baseball League (Liga Mexicana de Beisbol) to cancel the 2020 season. "Mexican baseball teams generate 80% of their profits from the sales of tickets, beverages, food, and souvenirs."[g]

2 July, the curfew of San Pedro has ended.

The European Union has begun to open its borders to epidemiologically safe countries. A total of 15 countries made the safe list, Mexico did not. Land borders between the U.S. and Mexico are still closed to non “essential travel”.

16 July, Canada, Mexico and the United States extend their border closures to non-essential travel until August 20 to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

August

coronavirus en Oaxaca

According to Oaxaca's Health Department, there were 16,132 cases of possible coronavirus in Oaxaca. Of those 16,132 cases, 4500 tested negative for COVID-19. There were 959 suspicious but unconfirmed cases and 10,673 confirmed cases; there were 968 deaths. On the coast of Oaxaca, there were 75 suspicious cases, 413 confirmed cases and 42 deaths.[1aug]

fighting roosters

4 August, the police of Colotepec have warned that there were reports of illegal rooster fights last week. These are illegal due to the pandemia.[3agosto]

17 August, Huatulco orders the closure of all bars and cantinas. Those who do not close will face a minimum of $3000 peso fine (U.S. $150) and up to 36 hours in jail.[4agosto]

In Huatulco, over 10 tourists in Huatulco have been arrested for not wearing face masks. At this time there are eight confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Huatulco.[5agosto]

Footnotes and Notes

  1. 1. 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic in Mexico. Wikipedia (source is listed as the Mexican Secretary of Health). Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  2. 2. Ibid.
  3. 3. Coronavirus.gob.mx. Spanish. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  4. 4. 26 March 2020. Cases of COVID-19 in Oaxaca. Secretaría de Salud, Oaxaca. Spanish. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  5. 5. 29 March 2020. "Cierran la Playa Nudista de Zipolite en la costa de Oaxaca." Facebook Agencia Municipal de Zipolite 2019-2021. Spanish. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  6. 6. Coronavirus.gob.mx. Spanish. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  7. 7. 1 April 2020. Cases of COVID-19 in Oaxaca. Secretaría de Salud, Oaxaca. Spanish. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  8. 8. By Order of Governor of Oaxaca. Spanish. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  9. 9. Sosa, Yadira. 12 April 2020. Bloquean atencion a paciente por covid-19 y muere. imparcialoaxaca.com. Spanish. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  10. 10. Moreno, Teresa. 9 April 2020. Mexico's Health Ministry Estimates There are 26000 COVID-19 Cases Country. El Universal. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  11. 11. 12 April, 12:49 PM. #SURFISTAS FUERON SORPRENDIDOS POR LA #POLICIA EN PUERTO ESCONDIDO. Facebook, imaginerpuerto. Spanish. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  12. 12. Coronavirus.gob.mx. Spanish. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  13. 13. 15 April 2020. Cases of COVID-19 in Oaxaca. Secretary of Health of Oaxaca. Spanish. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  14. 14. 15 April at 2:03 PM YA #NO HAY PASO PARA #NOPALA, CIERRAN TODOS SUS ACCESOS Facebook, Imaginer Puerto. Spanish. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  15. 16. Se Eun Gong. 17 April 2020. In South Korea, A Growing Number Of COVID-19 Patients Test Positive After Recovery. www.npr.org. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  16. 17. 19 April 2020. Oaxaca on the list of states that least comply with isolation. mxpolitico.com Spanish. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  17. 18. 24 April, 2020. "Immunity passports" in the context of COVID-19. World Health Organization. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  18. 19. Coronavirus.gob.mx. Spanish. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  19. 20. 1 May 2020. Cases of COVID-19 in Oaxaca. Secretary of Health of Oaxaca. Spanish. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  20. 21. Coronavirus.gob.mx. Spanish. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  21. 22. 16 May 2020. Cases of COVID-19 in Oaxaca. Secretary of Health of Oaxaca. Spanish. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  22. 23.
  23. 24. 2 June, 2020. Cases of COVID-19 in Oaxaca. Secretary of Health of Oaxaca. Spanish. Retrieved 2 June, 2020.
  24. 25. 16 June 2020. Cases of COVID-19 in Oaxaca. Secretary of Health of Oaxaca. Spanish. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  25. 26. 1 July 2020. Cases of COVID-19 in Oaxaca. Secretary of Health of Oaxaca. Spanish. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  26. 1agosto. 1 August 2020. Cases of COVID-19 in Oaxaca. Secretary of Health of Oaxaca. Spanish. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  27. g. Velázquez, Ariel. 2 July 2020. Mexican Baseball League cancels 2020 season over COVID-19. eluniversal.com. English. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  28. 3agosto. 4 August 2020. "Peleas de Gallos". Imaginer Puerto. Facebook. Spanish. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  29. 4agosto. August 19, 2020. Cruz, Sarya. Huatulco Imposes strict measures against Covid-19. Imparcialoaxaca.com. Spanish. Retrieved 19 August, 2020.
  30. 5agosto. Ibid.
  31. INTERESTING LINKS
  32. COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico. Wikipedia. English. 2020.
  33. Facebook page about COVID-19, most members seem to be expats in Puerto Escondido. COVID-19 Puerto Escondido. English.
  34. Facebook page from the government of Colotepec. H. Ayuntamiento Constitucional de Santa María Colotepec 2020-2022. Spanish.
  35. Facebook page from the government of San Pedro. Gobierno Municipal de San Pedro Mixtepec 2019-2021. Spanish.

Photo Credits

Virus image is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is Public Domain.

Image of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, source unknown.

Image of armed police originates from Facebook group: "H. Ayuntamiento Santos Reyes Nopala 2020-2022". Image retrieved 15 April 2020.

Image of fighting roosters comes from Imaginer Puerto on Facebook. Image retrieved 19 August 2020.