Hand-washing stations were installed in Merida’s Historic Center as part of the battle against coronavirus. Photo: Courtesy

Merida, Yucatan — Hand-washing sinks, booths and a sanitation tunnel that disinfects whole bodies were installed at different points in Merida’s Historic Center.

The latest approach to combating COVID-19 began where passengers wait for public transportation, and at parks and mercados.

“We decided to put these sinks to contribute to the prevention measures of people who are in need of passing through the historic center, where they go for essential services, such as pharmacies and supply centers, which are still in operation, or in transit to their work centers,” said Mayor Renán Barrera Concha.

More than 10 sanitation tents and a sanitation tunnel, which people walk through for a whole-body vapor-spray treatment, will also be installed at different points in the center. Another 20 will appear Wednesday.

Each tent fits three people at the same time and the tunnel can accommodate six at once. These teams will start arriving this week and will do so gradually.

The stainless-steel sinks were built by Merida’s Municipal Public Services Directorate staff. They draw from a 450-liter tank and have 40×40-centimeter basins that are 20 centimeters deep, and are spaced apart for social distancing.

Although users will have liquid soap at their disposal, the public is encouraged to bring their own soap, which improves hygiene by avoiding contact with the dispenser.

The sinks will have the capacity to serve up to 1,200 people per day.