As spring break approaches, and U.S. residents ponder whether to alter or cancel upcoming travel plans, one of the world’s most popular beach-vacation destinations still remains a prime getaway spot with no confirmed COVID-19 cases: Cancun, Mexico.
Head of Quintana Roo’s Ministry of Health, Alejandra Aguirre Crespo, confirmed just today that the Mexican state still has zero confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, despite the circulation of a forged document, apparently intended as a hoax, that suggested otherwise.
There are currently just eight confirmed cases in the whole of Mexico, none of them in the vicinity of Cancun or Quintana Roo. Three of those patients are under care in Mexico City, and the others are located in Coahuila, Sinaloa, Chiapas, Estado de Mexico and Puebla.
There are also zero travel advisories or warnings issued against travel to the Mexican Caribbean region by any foreign government, including the United States. Nor do the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend changing travel plans to the Mexican Caribbean, and the State of Quintana Roo retains a Green Level 1 (“practice usual precautions”) ranking.
A meeting on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, was held among Mexican federal, state and municipal officials, tourism authorities, international consuls, transport operators and other private and citizen bodies to coordinate and reaffirm the community’s commitment to proactively preparing for and mitigating any possible future incidents of coronavirus.
Quintana Roo State Governor, Carlos Joaquín González, who chaired the event, announced that the state would be dedicating an additional 70 million pesos (approximately USD $32 million) towards tackling the still-evolving coronavirus crisis.
Those funds will go towards purchasing medicines, materials, insurance contracts, supplies and personnel to respond to a potential COVID-19 health emergency.
He stressed that the good news regarding the virus’ behavior is that it does not seem to survive temperatures above roughly 75 degrees Fahrenheit and that humid climates are not conducive to its transmission, which is an advantage for the entire Yucatan Peninsula. He also pointed out that there are no flight cancellations to Quintana Roo—specifically to Cancun—and that there is no notice of future cancellations at this time.
Health Secretary Alejandra Aguirre Crespo stressed that, while Quintana Roo is currently coronavirus-free, the state is already monitoring, preparing for and establishing a response-and-recovery plan, in case the virus ultimately reaches its shores. The state is, she said, already conducting epidemiological surveillance with the support of the International Health Agency and the State Laboratory of Public Health.
Governor González added that Quintana Roo will be the first Mexican state to offer coronavirus-specific training to private-sector operators, including hotel, restaurant and transportation entities. Personnel who work at international entry points, such as airports and cruise ports, are also attending information and awareness meetings.
Aunque al momento no hay ningún caso confirmado en la entidad, se ha venido trabajando en el monitoreo, la preparación, un plan de respuesta y recuperación en caso de que se llegara a presentar https://t.co/XbugV5UOkH pic.twitter.com/gOnPWGbKsl
The overriding conclusion, communicated Governor González, is that Quintana Roo is prepared for any contingency. The state government of Quintana Roo also has launched a microsite dedicated to providing the public with updated information on COVID-19 and outlining measures being enacted in preparation for and to mitigate any future introduction of the virus into the region.
Standard COVID-19-related recommendations apply to any persons who are traveling, including frequent hand-washing with soap and water for at least 30 seconds; frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers; covering your mouth and nose with a tissue (or use the crook of your elbow) when you sneeze or cough; avoid close person-to-person contact and see a doctor if you feel unwell.
Persons who develop a fever, flu-like symptoms or difficulty breathing, and who’ve been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient or visited an affected country within the past fourteen days, should immediately contact the state health department, which can provide assistance in both English and Spanish:
Quintana Roo Epidemiological and Health Intelligence Unit (UIES)
800 832 9198 – Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and Saturday, Sundays and holidays from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
800 00 44 800 – 24-hour service
For more information, visit qroo.gob.mx/sesa/nuevo-coronavirus-covid-19.
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