Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro is asking citizens to prolong his voluntary stay-at-home measure until Sunday, March 29.
“This is only the start of a long-distance race, not a sprint, one that will save lives,” he said in a video released on television and social media Wednesday afternoon.
Acknowledging the “enormous economic sacrifice made by everybody,” Alfaro said “scientific data” showed the measure is having an effect but needs to remain in place until at least the weekend.
“That doesn’t mean everything goes back to normal on Monday,” he said. “We will reevaluate and adjust strategy, along with the results of mass testing.” (The governor announced that stepped up testing will begin Thursday.)
Abiding by the voluntary measure now will avoid the state having to declare obligatory quarantine at a later date, he said. “We can’t let down out guard. We stand to loose everything we have gained so far.”
The governor outlined adjustments that will follow the voluntary timeout.
He stressed that it is "indispensable" that everyone aged over 60, pregnant women, those with chronic diseases, hypertension or diabetes, as well as anyone suffering from respiratory issues, stay at home until instructed otherwise.
Anyone able to work from home should do so, he said, emphasizing that businesses and industries that stay open must protect their workers by maintaining strict social distancing and sanitary measures as mandated by the state government.
Alfaro acknowledged that the economy cannot simply close down and that people will have to purchase supplies, but said they should not go out in groups. He encouraged citizens whenever possible to support corner stores and micro enterprises, and if people go to restaurants they should maintain the obligatory safe distance from other diners.
Alfaro also implored jaliscienses living abroad not to return to the state at this time, as it could endanger the health of their relatives.