Cancun, Quintana Roo. April 9, 2020.
Thank you very much, allow me to expand on my comments.
To my friends in Quintana Roo,
I want to tell you that, given the situation the world and our state are experiencing, to me it is very important that you know the measures we are taking to protect the lives, health and financial well-being of our families, especially as we have already entered the “Community Dispersion” stage.
I can share with you that, at this moment, we have registered 146 cases in the state. However, 100 of these positive cases of Covid-19 are in Cancun and just over 20 are in Solidaridad, particularly in Playa del Carmen. We must take into consideration that each infected person can transmit the virus to many more people.
That is why it is time to take the necessary measures to slow down the community contagion stage to protect ourselves, protect our loved ones and also to avoid exhausting our hospital capacity.
It is time to stay at home and restrict our mobility as much as possible. The Government will support you so that you can stay at home. Let’s talk about how we are doing.
In terms of food delivery, more than 100,000 food packages have already been distributed to the most vulnerable population; we expect to deliver 400,000 more such packages. We are guaranteeing that there is sufficient food supply for the entire population of the state in supermarkets and convenience stores.
We are preparing ourselves so that if this situation continues, we can all have food on our tables.
The gas supply is guaranteed with all the companies in the sector agreeing to sustain service to the neediest families in the state.
We have already signed an agreement with the Federal Electricity Commission to cover half of the energy bills for more than 500 thousand families; these are 500 thousand homes who need help the most, and whose consumption does not exceed 250 kilowatts per month.
Regarding the water supply, I inform you that there have been no cuts. In addition to helping those in need, exemption schemes or payment deferrals are being extended.
Regarding the physical, mental and emotional health of our citizens, we tending to these needs through the State Health System both remotely and through our hospital system when their help is needed most.
To do this, we will work on the following six priority action items:
First, protect our front-line workers. I am referring of course to doctors, nurses and administrative personnel from the health sector, but also to our police officers, to the people who serve in supermarkets and pharmacies, and to those who distribute food.
Second, identify and protect the people of Quintana Roo who are most vulnerable to the pandemic. I am talking about our parents, our grandparents and the people who we know to have a condition that makes them especially fragile against this virus. Although we are a young state and that is an advantage against the virus, we have among our population aggravating conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and smoking habits.
That is why we have to provide special support so that the elderly and those who have these diseases do not go out to get infected and then our hospital system will be saturated.
Third, we are working to expand and strengthen the capacity of our hospitals and streamline all the care processes that are required.
I want to tell you that we are prepared for this critical stage, in which contagion is intensifying. For this reason, we are working on enhancements to the health infrastructure to ensure we have enough beds and hospitals dedicated exclusively to Covid-19.
In Cancun alone we will have more than 300 beds available and we will have enough spaces in intensive care units in the north, center and south areas of the state.
It is important to emphasize that the longer we stay at home, fewer people will become infected and we will have less need to use hospital beds.
We have to prevent our relatives, older adults and those with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, smoking or asthma from getting sick and having to use these hospital beds.
Fourth, we undertook actions to increase the number of our medical staff and train the existing staff in the treatment of this disease.
We have a base staff of health personnel among doctors, nurses, laborers, therapists, laboratory workers, chemists, paramedics and support personnel, we are working to strengthen it and hire more health professionals.
Fifth, we have set up a working group with urban planners, experts and related state and municipal public servants to define social mobility schemes that allow us to: First, slow down the rate of contagion of the disease by reducing the mobility of the population and that people stay home, and then regain economic activity in a gradual, safe and sustained manner.
To start, we are designing programs that end social distancing measures. For example we can implement vehicle programs (you can’t use your car one day each week), or the gradual and controlled reduction of public transport frequency, the staggered establishment of citizen mobility, with hours for different groups, the reduction of hours in which alcoholic beverages can be sold, and the gradual and staggered reduction of road access. We can encourage people to shop for their food and other needs in the vicinity of their home.
And one more line of action, in which we work intensively to protect our capacities, businesses and local jobs to the maximum, as well as reactivate our economy and prepare our entrepreneurs and businesses people for the new reality that the world is living, a very important task.
Thanks to the solidarity pact that we signed with more than a thousand companies, we have been able to keep 405,000 jobs out of the 475,000 that we had registered with Social Security. We are going to strengthen this agreement with new strategies and actions fundamentally aimed at two objectives: direct support for workers and for companies.
This implies keeping subsidies so that they pay less for electricity, water, gas, food and health care.
Regarding companies, we will work with the business chambers to find additional financial schemes to those that we already have, that are going to be viable to overcome this storm and prepare for the recovery and take-off of our economy.
This is just an overview of all that we have achieved, and what we continue to work on as we confront Covid-19, and seek to sustain the economy and safety of our state.