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Health

Mexico City says tougher coronavirus curbs could be needed by next week

Medical workers in protective suits treat a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in an intensive care unit at Hospital Juarez de Mexico in Mexico City,, Mexico October 29, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum on Friday said the capital could next week impose tougher restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus if the number of people being treated in hospital for COVID-19 rises further in the coming days.

“If the number of hospitalizations continues to increase next week, we could be announcing next Friday measures to restrict hours,” said Sheinbaum, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

The new measures could include limiting business hours and reducing the guest capacity at bars and restaurants, she said during a regular news conference.

Mexico has the world’s fourth highest official death toll from COVID-19, with over 90,000 fatalities, and is grappling in several states with an upsurge in infections.

Sheinbaum first put the city on alert for possible new health measures two weeks ago, and has called for residents to avoid events with more than 10 people.

Officials would ramp up monitoring of weddings, parties and baptisms to discourage large gatherings, while keeping an eye on hospitalizations, which increased about 1% this week, she said.

Hospital beds for COVID-19 patients are now just over 40% full.

Sheinbaum also reiterated that Mexico City’s 120 cemeteries would be closed for Day of the Dead on Nov. 1 and 2, when families traditionally visit the graves of deceased relatives and ancestors.

Reporting by Raul Cortes; writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Giles Elgood

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