CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico -- A record surge in Covid-19 cases has pushed Ciudad Juárez General Hospital to the brink, officials said Wednesday as they announced stricter measures aimed at stemming the virus infection spike.
The General Hospital has reached 100% capacity and there is now a wait list of two weeks, government leaders said. The Mexican federal government was sending a 20-bed mobile hospital to be set up in the parking lot.
"If we do not lower the level of contagion, there is no way to grow the number of (hospital) beds at the rate that the disease is growing," Health Secretary Eduardo Fernández Herrera said. "If the contagion grows faster than the number of beds that can be offered in the next 15 days, we will reach the extreme situation."
An existing nightly curfew was being expanded as part of new restrictions imposed. Officials indicated the start time was being moved up several hours from 10 p.m. to now begin at 7 p.m.; it will stay in effect until 6 a.m. the following morning.
But perhaps most notable were limits now being placed on maquiladoras, with weekend work not being allowed at those factories.
Fernández Herrera said the "health crisis" being faced in Juárez was the result of "parties, meetings, queues and coexistence (that) continue to be held, without healthy distance, as well as other types of activities," which led to the decision to expand restrictions.
Over the past month, he said the daily average number of infections has increased by an estimated 120%.
Juarez has reported more than 15,000 infections and at least 1,354 deaths to date, but the real numbers are believed to be far higher, because Covid-19 testing is extremely limited.
The imposition of the new rules from the Chihuahua state government came as Juárez Mayor Armando Cabada was released from the hospital Wednesday after being treated for his second bout with Covid-19.
Cabada posted a video message (watch it below) in which he thanked God for helping him with his recovery.