MEXICO CITY (AP) – Just over two months after completing confinement measures in the capital, the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, reported on Wednesday that he will return to public space starting next Tuesday with a working tour through the southeast of the country despite the fact that the coronavirus pandemic is approaching its peak.
López Obrador, who presumes to be the president who has traveled the most times in Mexico, has not been on tour since March 29, when he supervised the construction of a highway in Badiraguato, Sinaloa.
The president announced that he will visit Cancun, in the state of Quintana Roo, on Tuesday to witness the start of the first section of the Maya Train, one of the flagship works of his government.
The Maya Train will be built in the Yucatan peninsula and plans to cover 1,525 kilometers and connect the beaches of tourist sites in the Riviera Maya with archaeological sites in the interior and the colonial city of Merida.
The work has been cited several times in recent days as a trigger for the creation of 80,000 jobs that help straighten an economy shaken by the pandemic.
The Mexican Social Security Institute reported that in April just over 550,000 jobs were lost and López Obrador said last weekend that so far in May there are another 400,000, but has promised that by the end of the year it will create two million Of jobs.
López Obrador said that he will travel by plane from Mexico City to Cancun on a commercial flight as he has done since taking office and then travel the southeast by car and thus return to the capital of the country.
“I am going to take care of myself, if the airline has as a rule the use of mouthguards, I will use it. In the case of the trip, the doctors are recommending me not to use the plane much more than by road at ground level,” he said. López Obrador.
Among other measures, the president said that the acts he is in are not going to be massive and will be restricted to no more than 50 people, keeping the distance measures.
On his tours, López Obrador usually gets very close to people and receives letters and requests, something that he will not be able to do now, but he will have emissaries who do it during the week.
“I ask them to help us that now I cannot have direct communication, but we are going to collect their feelings and that is why I am going,” he added. “I want to do it in every state and inform people of how we are going to get ahead of this health crisis and this economic crisis. The Maya Train is very important because they are jobs and work in a circumstance where it is needed. ”
After Cancun, López Obrador will be in Playa del Carmen, in the Riviera Maya, on Wednesday he will go to Mérida, in the state of Yucatan, and on Thursday he will go to Escárcega, in the state of Campeche.
In each of these sites there are sections of the Maya Train.
By Friday, López Obrador will be in Villahermosa, in the state of Tabasco, where he will review progress at the Dos Bocas refinery, another of his government’s momentous works.
The other is the Felipe Ángeles International Airport.
On Saturday, López Obrador will visit the Cangrejera petrochemical complex, located in Coatzacoalcos, and a refinery in Minatitlán, while on Sunday he will be in Sayula de Alemán to supervise the start of the rehabilitation of train tracks.
López Obrador said that from now on he will spend a week on tour and another in the capital.
The president’s decision will probably raise many eyebrows because although the national day of healthy distance ends on Sunday, the vast majority of states will not be able to completely restart their non-essential activities because the country is going through the most critical moment of the pandemic.
“Is the tour really necessary? Is it an essential activity? The tour exposes and encourages contagion: advanced personnel, logistics, security (although it is not recognized, it exists and is complex), communication and the president himself, “Felipe Calderón, who was president of Mexico in 2006, wrote on Twitter. to 2012.
He added that “the most delicate thing: it gives the wrong signal to the population that everything is fine and that you can get out, which is not true. Hopefully contagions and deaths do not escalate from unintentionally induced relaxation. ”
On Tuesday, more than 74,500 confirmed infections were reported and at least 8,100 people have died from COVID-19.
Tabasco and Veracruz, which will be the last two stops on this tour, are two of the five states with the highest number of infections in the country, second only to the capital, the State of Mexico and Baja California.
“Hopefully our adversaries will not provoke saying that we are not respecting sanitary measures,” added López Obrador.
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