Economy

Mexico City residents defy coronavirus warnings amid Christmas shopping spree

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has pleaded with Mexico City residents to avoid being out in the streets

Photo: REUTERS/Gustavo Graf
  • Bars and restaurants in the city center have been required to close at 5 p.m. as part of restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19;
  • Despite the warnings, people have flooded the city’s shopping districts, buying Christmas gifts.

Tired of months of confinement, Christmas shoppers have been crowding stores in Mexico City this week despite a recent spike in coronavirus cases that has strained hospitals in the capital.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has pleaded with Mexico City residents to avoid being out in the streets as much as possible during the normally festive holiday season.

“There have been more hospitalizations, more spread of the virus, and together we can control this situation,” he said.

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The mayor of Mexico City declared a “COVID-19 emergency” last week. The city of about 9 million people has registered over 19,000 deaths related to the novel coronavirus, and a fifth of Mexico’s nearly 1.3 million confirmed cases.

Bars and restaurants in the city center have been required to close at 5 p.m. as part of restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Despite the warnings, people have flooded the city’s shopping districts, buying Christmas gifts from street vendors or waiting in long lines to enter stores.

“People are very stubborn, they don’t follow orders and they don’t know how to take care of themselves,” lamented Patricia Cárdenas, a vendor of artisanal handicrafts.

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Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum reiterated on Wednesday her call for residents to avoid large gatherings.

“If we don’t flatten the curve of infections, we will not be able to overcome this epidemic,” she told a news conference.

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