MEXICALI — Starting Tuesday, the government of Baja California will intensify preventive measures to slow the curve of COVID-19 cases within the state.

As the impact of the virus progresses, more forceful actions will be launched, Gov. Jaime Bonilla said.

The measures include closure of beaches, shopping malls without supermarkets, and people walking on the street with no purpose.

“The only way to mitigate this epidemic is co-responsibility between society and government,” Bonilla said through a Facebook live video. “A few days ago, we projected some videos to the community, particularly in Plaza Cachanilla shopping mall in Mexicali, where there was a concentration of more than 1,500 people, who without any precaution were circulating very close to each other.”

Bonilla asked Mexicali residents to be more responsible, in health and hygienic measures.

“Do not be surprised that the police agents, the Army (SEDENA) and elements of the National Guard, question people who roam the streets, without an essential activity, since they will be questioned, and must justify the reason for their departure,” he added. “If the number of coronavirus infections in Baja California increases, there will not be enough equipment, particularly ventilators, and there will be no health system that can attend to many patients. That is what we must avoid for the good of all.”

Secretary of Public Health Alonso Óscar Pérez Rico reported Baja California occupies the 11th place nationwide in suspected and confirmed cases.

The official announced there are 31 confirmed cases in the state, of which 20 are in Mexicali and 11 in Tijuana.

There are another 88 suspected cases, including 29 in Mexicali.

Pérez Rico said strengthening preventive measures such as the closure of beaches and shopping centers without supermarkets, suspension of educational activities, closure of bars, cinemas, casinos, gyms, churches and funeral homes will help reduce contagion.

He also urged residents to avoid attending meetings and crowded places while making essential border crossings.

Likewise, he indicated that work activities involving mass transit of company employees are suspended and, in the case of restaurants, there will only take-out food.

Bonilla’s measures figure to be challenged. According to the Mexican Constitution, the only one legally empowered to enact these measures is the president of the republic, with the authorization of the Supreme Court and under special circumstances.

“Restricting rights like free movement is an exclusive power of the mentioned authorities and under the set Constitutional procedure,” attorney Nicolás Quintero said. “In several cities, councils are imposing it illegally.”

Adelante Valle Editor Arturo Bojorquez can be reached at abojorquez@ivpressonline.com or 760-335-4646.

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