Monday, March 30, 2020

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Monday, March 30

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As of 9pm on March 29th, the state of Quintana Roo has had a total of 208 registered suspected cases of Covid-19, of which 141 were negative, 24 are under study, and 42 were positive with one death. The positive cases are located as follows: 29-Benito Juarez (Cancun), 8-Solidaridad (Playa de Carmen), 2-Tulum, and 1 each in Cozumel, Bacalar & OTB (Chetumal). Four are in the hospital and 38 in social isolation, of whom 17 are women and 25 are men. You're reminded to maintain 1.5 meters of social distance.

In the state of Quintana Roo, as of 6pm on March 28th, laboratory results are: 37 positive cases of Covid-19 with one death, 125 negatives, and 30 under study. Of the positives, 3 are hospitalized and 34 are isolated at home. Of the 15 men & 22 women, 27 are in Benito Juarez (Cancun), 8 are in Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen), 1 is in OTB (Chetumal), and 1 is in Bacalar. You're reminded to maintain 1.5 meters of social distance.

On Friday, President Obrador, stressed the importance of staying at home and only leaving, with caution, when necessary. At three & a half minutes, he shows a graph of projected coronavirus cases if people stay home vs if they disregard the Ministry of Health's recommendations. He warns there are not enough hospital beds.
He said only companies that produce basic goods and services, such as the production of food and health equipment, should remain open.
He asked for redoubled dedication, sacrifice and obedience to face the coronavirus. In addition to telling the populace to stay at home and keep a healthy distance, he emphasized the need to take proper care of older adults. He said if you must go shopping, do so only when necessary and be cautious.
He said maintaining this retreat will help Mexico a great deal, and the country and its people will endure. He noted that compared to the European countries, United States and Canada, Mexico is among the least infected. However, there has just been another four deaths, bringing the total as of Friday to 12 deaths and 717 infected, which was 28 days from the first confirmed case.
In the neighboring country of the US, on Friday the number of cases of Covid-19 exceeded 100,000, claiming the lives of 1,581, according tho Johns Hopkins University. The US was followed by Italy with 86,498 and China with 81,897.
Additional source-LINK  

Hugo López-Gatell, Federal Undersecretary for Prevention and Promotion of Health, told Mexicans to "Stay at home!", because Mexico is now in a time of accelerated growth of Covid-19 cases. He said this is the last chance to restrict its spread, noting, "It is in an accelerated process of cases, but we still have the opportunity to stop it."
He said the government doesn't want to reach an 'irrepressible' level. He explained that it is not possible to avoid the epidemic, but that the spread can be stopped if the population is confined for a period of one month. He estimated that contagion could affect 70 to 80 percent of the population. He emphasized that the only way to reduce infections is isolation.
Yesterday, the number of fatalities in Mexico rose to 16, and the number of confirmed cases reached 848, with Mexico in Phase Two. The Governor of Hidalgo was diagnosed with coronavirus and was recently with President Obrador, who remains healthy.
Here is his video message to businesses to have solidarity with their employees for a month so they can stay at home and that simultaneously public activities must stop... in offices, public spaces, etc.  LINK  and

From the City....

    To reduce the spread or possible contagion of Covid-19, the Harbor Master and personnel with Civil Protection patrolled the offshore area of the island beaches to prevent the anchoring of tourist and recreational boats. They are distributed the information that they are denying the arrivals and departures of boats dedicated to nautical tourism, including minor boats dedicated to recreation and sports, both Mexican and foreign, as well as any boats that use private employees for recreational activities. These boats were invited to depart.
      The City government is firmly committed to increasing efforts to preserve public health in the municipality, and are working hand in hand with the Harbor Master for the health of the community. Therefore, the municipal government invites everyone to stay in their homes; this is not a vacation, we are facing a health alert, said the head of Civil Protection. VIDEO  

    Personnel with the municipal Police, the municipal Department of Civil Protection & Firefighters, and ZOFEMAT (municipal-Federal Zone agency) invited locals and tourists to leave the beaches and public areas and return to their homes, during a patrol of these areas.
      The Director of Civil Protection explained that free transit of any person is not being restricted, but they are politely inviting the population to contribute to preventing the spread and contagion of this virus in our municipality. Preventative measures against this global health alert are everyone's job, and by following the health recommendations, we can make a difference, he said.
The municipal government is continuing to strengthen the preventive protocols recommended by WHO (World Health Organization) and the SSP (Ministry of Health), with the federal & state governments, in response to the coronavirus and the worldwide situation.
The municipal government recommends that the general public stay in their homes to prevent cases in the state from increasing, as well as washing their hands with soap and water, and following protocols when sneezing or coughing.

The Department of Civil Protection & Firefighters (located next to the Police Dept) joined the campaign "If you need something, take it & if you have plenty, donate some". They invite anyone who wants to help to join in to assist those who need help most right now.

From the Mayor...already translated...

Ultramar passenger ferry schedule between Isla Mujeres & Gran Puerto as of today, March 30th with six round trips.
On our neighboring island, they are running two daily passenger crossings between Playa Del Carmen (8 confirmed cases in their municipality) and Cozumel (First confirmed case yesterday), with an advisory that their passenger and cargo service will continue in a limited manner for those whose travel is "absolutely indispensable". They remind their clients that federal and local authorities have strongly advised staying at home to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and your cooperation is appreciated.

TVisla Mujeres    

Operation to halt illegal sales of beer & liquor LINK 
  There is no official information, but it has been learned that there were two cases of seizure of illegal beers and liquor, allegedly intended for sale. The first was a woman who accidentally dropped some beers she was carrying, which included various cases/containers (canastillas) and bottles of liquor. The other seizure occured after 7pm in colonia Miraflores where a large number of beers were seized from a home, in addition to several bottles of liquor, and there was a rumor of two large refrigerators full of beer.

Federal order suspends maritime traffic throughout Mexico except authorized passenger and cargo vessels.
    Until further notice, Port Authorities throughout Mexico will deny departures and dispatches of vessels that offer nautical tourism services, as well as the smaller recreational, sport, and private boats. After the notice was officially published on March 24 by the Secretary of Health, it was sent to all the Harbor Masters throughout the country, establishing the preventative measures they are required to implement for the mitigation and control of the health risks caused by the Covid-19 virus.
   In Article One, it says that all civil and military authorities, a well as individuals and agencies of the three levels of government will be obligated to implement preventative measures against Covid-19/
    These measures were instigated because although an emergency exists, the number of positive cases is increasing throughout Mexico. In the northern part of Quintana Roo, many sailors have not wanted to take the warnings of the Ministry of Health seriously, but now they will have no choice but to remain in active until further notice.
     The Harbor Masters are instructed:  "From this date until further notice, you must deny dispatches and departures to vessels dedicated to the provision of nautical tourism services, including minor Mexican and foreign recreational and sports vessels; as well as Mexican and foreign vessels for private use,  in order to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV2 virus (COVID-19)."
       In the case of the Islands (Holbox, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel) only the route and cargo vessels will remain in operation.

In national news, this week governmental officials who have tested positive for Covid-19 include the Governor of Hidalgo, Omar Fayad, the Governor of Tabasco, Adan Augusto Lopez, and two federal legislators, Jorge Alcibíades García and Libier González Anaya, LINK  

VIDEO of two municipal Civil Protection trucks and three municipal Police vehicles going north on Rueda Medina with sirens and a loudspeaker advising people to stay in their homes.

   La Tertulia  

The Isla Mujeres Community Hospital Director reported that the first SUSPECTED case of coronavirus was registered on Wednesday, whose test results would be final on Friday. The daily official information from the state has continued to report zero cases in Isla Mujeres, and now Tertulia reports the patient is Isla Mujeres tested NEGATIVE.

Island families who have been complying with the preventative measures to prevent the contagion of COVID-19 applauded the actions taken by authorities for several hours on Sunday afternoon, which included the eviction of beach-goers and verbal awareness for drivers and pedestrians to avoid circulating if they aren't doing something important outside their homes.
   There are many families who have protected themselves for the past two weeks in their homes, but there are also those who aren't conscientious and who don't seem to realize the gravity and vulnerable situation of this island where the inhabitants lack good medical infrastructure. 
   They are concerned that the ferry companies have reduced the number of crossings for economic reasons, while lacking surveillance for the maintenance of healthy distance between passengers when waiting in line and when inside the boat, where there should be two empty seats between passengers. They want the state Port Authority (APIQRoo) to enforce these health measures, and would like three crossings daily (morning, afternoon and evening) exclusively for residents who must go to the mainland for medical reasons or other important circumstances.

From  Por Esto :

Loss of sand continues  LINK 

   Four months after the work to restore beach at the end of Zazil Ha street, more than fifty percent has eroded away again, so that this area which leads to the Mia pier is less than five meters wide. A pump was used to relocate the sand and Mia placed half a dozen geotubes along the pier to try and keep the sand from dispersing, but it appears this was not very successful.

Decreasing number of buses  LINK  
  The fleet of ten buses has been reduced by fifty percent due to low ridership, but service continues on all four routes at a frequency of every 15 minutes, according to the company who say they previously provided service every ten minutes in routes to Garrafon, Sac Bajo, and the colonias. A company supervisor said due to being in Phase 2 of the coronavirus contingency, usage has dropped to about 30 percent of the seats. Similar reductions took place on the mainland.Company personnel said that when the contingency ends and usage increases, the rest of the fleet will be returned to service to meet the demand, in compliance with the concession contract.

Enforcement needed for "Healthy Distance" on ferries  LINK  


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"Reverse Sunset" (looking east from MVC)
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Fine dining a few steps away at Da Luisa or try the neighborhood eateries a couple blocks farther. We provide a list of links & direction to over 20 eateries within ten minutes walk, including Mango Cafe,  Mike's Pizza, Brisas, Rosa Sirena, Coco Jaguar, Manolitos, La Chatita, Green Verde, Kash Kechen Chuc, and the large department store-grocery Chedraui & the local craft brewery.  Visit marinas, bars, & beach clubs that are minutes away by bike or on foot. Attend Yoga classes a couple villas away at Casa Ixchel. Fresh juice, produce & tortillas a few blocks away in the village, as well as a variety of other stores.
Full moon rising over the Caribbean 
 At Sunset--March  9  7:09p (sets 7:07a)
March 10   8:13
March 11   9:17
 March 12  10:20
 March 13   11:22
This is the second of four supermoons for 2020. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth while full, causing it to appear slightly larger and brighter than usual.

 Sunset  6:52-7:02pm (beginning vs end of month)
Sunrise ~7:07-6:40am
Painting by Pamela Haase at MVC
The Events section will resume when there are public events scheduled.

Sources for Weather Information:
LINK to Civil Protection Q Roo weather bulletin  (Spanish)
LINK to Mexico National Weather Service (Spanish)
 LINK to satellite images for the Mexico National Weather Service
 LINK to GOES East Band 16 GIF (animation)
LINK to a private weather station on Isla Mujeres


The buses operate from 6a to 10p. The overhead digital display indicates whether they're going to the Tourism areas or the Colonias.The bus numbers don't indicate the route, they're numbered 1 thru 10.

The main downtown stops are just south of the Maritime (Ultramar) Terminal & across the street from it. In Centro, the buses stay on Medina, except they turn around near the Convention Center, behind the downtown Mercado. Outside of town, there are no designated stops & you flag them. Exit thru the back door, first pushing the red button nearby so the driver knows to stop.

Pay the driver 38 pesos/$2usd (or $9/175p for an all day pass). The front seats are for seniors, disabled & pregnant women. The 32 passenger buses have air conditioning & security cameras. (State residents pay 10p, INAPAM card holders & local students pay 5p.)  LINK to bus company page on FB.


Route 1 goes down the western side on Rueda Medina and returns northward on the east side via Jesus Martinez Ross. Its west-east transit is Paseo de los Peces in colonia La Gloria.

Route 2 goes down the eastern side on Jesus Martinez Ross and returns northward on the west side via Medina. Its east-west transit is also Paseo Peces.

Routes #1 & #2 aren't exact opposites.
#1 takes J.M. Ross northward all the way from Peces to downtown, traveling thru Salina Chica,
 #2 going southward turns left/east just before Salina Chica, leaving JM Ross & taking the Caribe Coastal road thru Meteorologico. I've heard it turns right/west back into the colonias by Madera Food & Art.


Now the company advises riding #3 to Sac Bajo and #4 to Punta Sur. 

Route 3 goes to Sac Bajo, down the western side of the isle on Medina.
(It was originally advertised as also going to Punta Sur. Then they said it only went to P.S. when that was the destination of passengers aboard, and otherwise after routing thru Sac Bajo it turned east on Paseo Peces & returned via the Caribbean Coastal road, Payo Obispo.)

Route 4 goes to Punta Sur & Garrafon down east side on the Caribbean Coastal road and returning northward on Medina to town.

This isn't a bus route map, it's a street map, showing how Jesus Martinez Ross follows the Caribbean coast until becoming the main street of Salina Chica and going on to La Gloria, while the Caribe Coastal road (aka Payo Obispo) follows the coast. The east-west transit, Paseo de los Peces, is shown, but not labeled, between colonia La Gloria and the Mundaca Hacienda. 

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