Mexico border officials catch US citizens showing fake doctor appointments to break Covid-19 travel ban
Mexican officials found a reason to have a go at American citizens because they traveled with fake pharmacy prescriptions and medical appointment notices to bypass the land-border travel restrictions because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The US has seen more than 288,000 deaths while in Mexico, it is around 111,000.
Mexico-based newspaper, El Universal, said at least eight Mexican residents and American citizens were caught by the border agents in Reynosa in the border state of Tamaulipas adjoining Texas for faking about their visits from the US.
The government of Tamaulipas imposed restrictions for motorists driving through from Texas’s Hidalgo County, where the confirmed cases were found to be more than 46,000 on Tuesday, December 8. More than 2,100 were dead. The Lone Star State has seen more than 23,000 deaths from the virus, next only to New York with 35,000-plus. The US has more than 15 million positive cases while Mexico has 1.1 million. In Tamaulipas, officials have so far detected more than 32,000 confirmed cases and deaths numbering over 3,000.
Local authorities are allowing at most two passengers per vehicle coming via Reynosa-Hidalgo International Bridge. Both the occupants must wear masks at all times and minors are not allowed. Moreover, to enter Reynosa, the visitors must produce proof of the doctor's appointment and that they have a sick family member at the hospital or have visited the city to buy medicine. But the border agents found many visitors who just crossed the border to see their loved ones or for trips that are not essential.
'People are cheats'
Adalberto Elizondo, the director for the State Commission for Protection Against Sanitary Risks in Tamaulipas, said the eight people who were caught lying about their visits to two area hospitals are being probed, Daily Mail reported. “People are cheats, they show prescriptions or paperwork for surgeries and, when we verify with doctors or hospitals, they deny that they have consultation,” Elizondo was quoted as saying.
“We came across two different cars, the occupants showed medical appointments with a 15-minute time difference with the same doctor. So, we confirmed in the office and it was false.” He also said the commission has been in talks with bodies like the National Guard, the Institute of National Migration, the Department of Defense and Health Ministry to ensure that people arriving in Mexico from the US are rightly vetted.
“I cannot accuse the doctors of selling prescriptions or documentation,” Elizondo said, adding: “In these cases we consider that people are falsifying the paperwork. We suppose that on some occasion they consulted these hospitals and have a prescription that they later duplicated to be able to cross to Reynosa, since it is a requirement for essential visits.”
Mexican officials are worried over large gatherings of people on the streets as the holidays approach. While the central parts of Mexico City saw people wearing face masks, fewer people were doing the same in the poorer areas. Millions of Mexicans generally gather on December 12, the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and for the Christmas celebrations and this year, the officials are worried over these celebrations as the national capital is seeing its hospitals getting filled up. Last week, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who decreed an expansion of 500 more hospital beds in Mexico City, urged his countrymen to stop crowding the streets and stay indoors.