Face masks are mandatory in Yucatan starting Friday. Photo: Ayuntamiento

New, stricter travel measures were announced as the 16th and 17th coronavirus deaths in Yucatan were announced by state health authorities.

Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal announced mandatory face masks in public starting Friday, and a one-person limit in private vehicles. An Uber or taxi can take only one passenger at a time, seated in the back, he said at a 7 p.m. news conference delivered on social media. Emergency rides to hospitals allow two passengers — in the rear – and a driver.

Strict “phase three” penalties will be enforced with additional checkpoints and backed up with fines, he said.

“The use of face masks will be mandatory as it has been proven that their use significantly reduces the potential for infection,” said the governor “Those who do not use it will not be able to get on public transport, they will not be able to access essential businesses and essential businesses that do not respect these provisions will be closed.”

Municipal mercados such as Lucas de Galvez were also ordered to close by 3 p.m. every day and some Oxxo convenience stores, cherished for 24-hour-service, announced they would lock up by 9 or 10.

2 more fatalities

An hour earlier, the Health Ministry announced that a 56-year-old man with a medical history of hypertension and obesity, and a woman, 63, with diabetes and hypertension, succumbed to COVID-19.

The man lived with one person, and the woman with seven. None of them present symptoms, but they are in isolation and being monitored by health sector personnel.

Of 207 patients in Yucatan, 123 have recovered, including 11 today. The most well-known patient was the former interim mayor of Merida, Maria Fritz Sierra, who was released from the hospital this morning. Fritz Sierra, who is now Yucatan’s second-highest ranking state official, had been diagnosed March 31.

Her driver, who had also tested positive, also recovered from the virus, said Sipse.

The age range of the COVID-19 patients is from 3 to 78 years.

Thirty-four patients are in stable condition and at home, 11 fewer patients than Tuesday. Another 33 are hospitalized and are in total isolation, two more than Tuesday.

The Yucatecan woman infected and diagnosed in Canada is still hospitalized and not part of local and federal statistics.

{ Related: See past stories on the coronavirus response }

Mexico exceeded 10,000 coronavirus cases Wednesday, and 970 deaths, with 3,618 active COVID-19 throughout the country.