May 16, 2021

Guatemalan Mayor asks for confinement due to the virus or “many are going to die”


The municipal mayor of Quetzaltenango, the second largest city in Guatemala, Juan Fernando López, asked Tuesday for “total” confinement for several days due to COVID-19, or, otherwise, “we are going to die many.”

López explained in statements to journalists that he wanted to openly request the country’s president, Alejandro Giammattei, a confinement of “three to four days”, in order to contain the disease.

“Today is the time. I cannot do it. I have autonomy, but I cannot do it. It must be the constitutional president who must give the ordinance,” stressed the mayor of Quetzaltenango, located 175 kilometers west of the City of Guatemala.

López expressed his concern about the current situation, which, in his opinion, is dangerous after the country registered the highest number of daily infections on Sunday -86- since the first case was detected on March 13.

“Otherwise, really, as we are now, that people do not obey, many of us are going to die,” added the official.

The mayor recalled that “Spain and all the civilized countries of the world have done it (confinement)” and gave the United States and Mexico as an example, countries that in his opinion “have relaxed a great deal” in preventing the expansion of the virus.

“But we cannot afford to relax, or else redundancy is worth it, we are going to die a lot if we do not take action,” he said.

The Central American country has been under a curfew since April 5, originally from four in the afternoon to four in the morning, but relaxed from April 19 from six in the afternoon to four in the morning.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei ordered a general quarantine on March 15 that suspended work at the national level, both public and private, in addition to the cessation of public transport and classes at all educational levels.

Giammattei, however, backed down a day later, on March 16, and stated that any company that wanted to could work as long as they notified the State and also obtained public transportation for their workers.

On May 3, the president ordered the gradual reopening of the country, despite having repeatedly warned that the peak of the disease would come in the first two weeks of May.

The country has registered massive mobility in recent weeks and some crowds of people in various parts of the country, such as on Mother’s Day on May 10 or a mass funeral for the murder of a municipal mayor.

Guatemala has recorded, according to the latest update on Monday, a total of 1,114 people infected with the virus, including 26 deaths.

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