Coronavirus: Mexico to consider shutting border with US to keep Americans from bringing disease into the country
While the US has seen a number of cases, the count for Mexico has been low and the authorities there intend to keep it that way
The fate of the US-Mexico border is on the line again. Mexican health officials are considering border limits to prevent American immigration and keep out coronavirus from their country.
Hugo Lopez-Gatell, deputy health secretary of Mexico, in a press conference on Friday, March 13, asserted that authorities are planning surveillance to control the flux of people entering Mexico from the US, as a preventive check on the spread of COVID-19.
"Mexico wouldn't bring the virus to the United States, rather the United States would bring it here," said Gatell. "The possible flow of coronavirus would come from the north to the south. If it were technically necessary, we would consider mechanisms of restriction or stronger surveillance," he added.
The coronavirus situation in the US has forced Trump to declare a state of national emergency, and instate a European travel ban which will limit the entry of foreign nationals into the country. The infection has spread rather quickly and currently, over 2,000 confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported with 50 fatalities. In contrast, Mexico's reported cases remain low - a total of 16 cases have been verified with no deaths as of yet.
Mexico believes that the virus is likely to infiltrate the country from the US and now deems the country a threat. California alone has reported around 250 cases and five fatalities since the outbreak, but there have been no confirmed cases in the bordering Mexican state of Baja California.
Trump is yet to comment about coronavirus in Mexico. Most Latin American countries have also shut down public places, schools and prohibited entry to people coming from COVID-19 affected countries, but Mexico is yet to take any similar measures
Trump tweeted on Friday: "To this point, and because we have had a very strong border policy, we have had 40 deaths related to CoronaVirus. If we had weak or open borders, that number would be many times higher!"
Trump as well as Vice President Mike Pence, blamed China for spreading the virus, and have now pointed fingers at Europe which they've labelled as the 'epicentre' of the epidemic. Trump also instated a travel ban barring Schengen citizens from stepping foot on US soil.
On another note, social media has been on the alert and keeping up with the recent developments in the global coronavirus scenario. Twitter users, in particular, have resorted to humour and memes to post hilarious content, possibly as a coping mechanism. The foremost measure against coronavirus according to many, is to flee from coronavirus infected countries. And since airline companies have cut back on flight ticket fees, impromptu trips to Mexico's vacation spots are the perfect solution.
"Booking flights to Cabo! Coronavirus can’t stop me and my asthma," a user tweeted.
Another commented, "The coronavirus is making flights cheap now so I’d rather be dead drinking margarita in Cabo..."
"My travel plans for the next few weeks: Chicago —> Cabo —> Florida —> hospital. Getting treated for catching coronavirus on my $52 flight," a third one quipped.
There's no way the coronavirus will interfere with planned trips as this user suggests in a tweet, "I paid for the Cabo flight f*** da coronavirus me and all da homies gonna be quarantined together."