Ambulances with the lights flashing are driven Saturday down an empty Paseo de la Reforma as paramedics hold a caravan to honor of their colleagues who have been killed by COVID-19, in Mexico City. AP Photo: Rebecca Blackwell

The Mexican government had planned to start reopening the country today, but with deaths and new infections from the COVID-19 pandemic scaling new peaks, expectations for major changes have dampened.

Mexico faces a sluggish exit from lockdown as the nearly entire country begins the June 1 recovery period stuck in the highest red phase of contagion alert.

President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obradór will begin tours of Mexico this week after a nearly two-month hiatus, but a briefing he led on Friday showed only the north-central mining state of Zacatecas was not classified as a ‘maximum risk” area going into Monday.

Mexico is using a “traffic light” model to gradually repeal curbs on the economy and daily life imposed in late March. Zacatecas was marked orange on the traffic-light map; the rest of Mexico was in red. Each state has to advance to orange, yellow and finally green to reach the “new normal.”

Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell, the country’s coronavirus czar, said the map was based on May 28 data and would serve as the initial model on Monday.

Mexico registered its first cases of coronavirus weeks after Canada and the United States, which has urged Lopez Obrador’s government to reopen major sectors of the economy like carmaking that are closely integrated with the rest of North America. That is why Mexico has already started to allow automakers, mining firms and builders to exit the lockdown.

Source: Reuters