Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Wednesday, March 18

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Last evening, Mayor Juan Carrillo Soberanis spoke about coronavirus COVID-19 & the measures being taken for its prevention. VIDEO
He began by emphasizing the importance of hand washing for 20 seconds with soap & water, including instructing/supervising your children. He recommends avoiding greetings with handshaking, kissing or hugging, and keeping one meter of distance between people.
He says officials visited all the schools yesterday to educate the young people, particularly about hand washing...including games to help the youngest understand.
Medical screenings for symptoms or fever have been implemented with temperature checks at the Maritime Terminal and other docks where many people arrive. Those with symptoms or elevated temperatures will be more closely reviewed, and channeled to the appropriate health authorities as necessary. Yesterday afternoon, sanitation began of the public transportation vehicles/buses and combis on the island & in the Continental Zone.
A meeting was held with the business community to discuss strategies. He says at this time there are no indications that commercial activity should stop or that businesses should close, but it is important that hotels, restaurants, stores, and other businesses take measures that are necessary to be ready to address any contingency.
At the meeting with those who provide the island's stores and markets with supplies and provisions, guarantees and commitments were made to ensure the island continues to receive basic supplies and necessities.
He says: Don't succumb to panic buying because it is important that everyone have access to the basics like cleaning supplies, soap, and toilet paper. We are committed to continuing to ensure the supply of these types of products. It is important to maintain good communication and avoid rumors.
He emphasizes that as of today, there are no cases and no suspected cases in the municipality. He says they are working to maintain this status, among all the governmental agencies and organizations and raising the awareness among the community in a successful manner. He concludes with, "Thank you and good evening."

Alejandra Aguirre Crespo, head of the State Department of Health, said that Quintana Roo is in a first phase of "Viral Import", with four confirmed cases, of whom three are in isolation and one is hospitalized.  Three of them are tourists who came from Europe, and the fourth was via contagion.
    The first positive patient was a 71-year-old Italian woman who contracted the virus in Spain. The second case was a 50 year-old woman who flew to Cancun from Spain. The third is a 19-year-old girl with a history of traveling to Spain who started with symptoms on March 13, two days after arriving in Mexico. The fourth is a 44-year-old man who was in contact with one of the three previous patients. The state government did not specify with whom.
   On Tuesday, about 400 Peruvians were stranded at the Cancun airport after the president of Peru declared a national emergency on Sunday and closed the country's borders. This was followed by two airlines (Latam and Interjet) canceling flights to Peru, indefinitely. The stranded passengers released a video on social networks requesting that the president to provide an airlift or other means for their return to their families, noting they had purchased tickets, and now don't know what to do. More Peruvians are expected to arrive at the Cancun airport this week to try to return to their country, as well as hundreds of passengers with tickets to Italy, who will be unable to leave Mexico. The two routes that were still traveling directly to Italy have been suspended, which were Neos to Milan on Thursdays and Blue Panorama to Rome on Sundays. 
 (Sources--Video of today's press conference in Cozumel by state officials and Infobae, yesterday.)

 Ultramar issued an announcement about their new protocols in response to recommendations by state & federal agencies and the WHO to minimize the propagation and risk of contracting COVID-19.
 1. Before boarding--There will be cleaning and disinfection of the public areas in the terminals and inside the ferries.
2.During boarding and crossing--Antibacterial Gel is available for passengers and staff. Maintain a healthy social distance. Follow personal hygiene and prevention measures such as frequent hand washing.
3. Disembarking--There will be cleaning and disinfection of the public areas of the ferries, including the bathrooms, waiting rooms, floors, barriers, and surfaces. 
 At this time, no cases (incidencias) have been reported among our crew or passengers. Together, we are taking these types of actions as our contribution to avoiding the propagation of infections.

From the City....

  To reduce the chances of contagion of COVID-19, the municipal government began a sanitation program of buses, combis, and taxis. The City, with the support of the bus company, are implementing the disinfection of the ten buses every two hours on the island, and in the Continental Zone (on the mainland) theyare disinfecting the six buses every two hours, and the combis and taxis are permitted to participate in the procedures. 
   In addition, the bus company has provided alcohol-based gel for bus passengers as a preventative measure, which has been advised by health authorities during the current emergency situation caused by the coronavirus.
   The Mayor emphasized that correct hygiene is the key to prevention of diseases such as COVID-19, noting that hands are the main routes of transmission, so it is vital to keep them clean.

To address the possible commercial and tourist impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Juan Carrillo Soberanis met with the business and commercial sector of Isla Mujeres.
  They met to agree upon necessary tourism and commercial strategies to address the current situation, caused by the virus.  It was reported that the supply of products to the island is guaranteed.  Authorities emphasized that only official information should be spread and misinformation should be avoided.
     "It is important that we take precautions to prevent an event of greater magnitude on our island; the task here is for everyone; we have to take the preventative measures that the health authorities dictate; like washing your hands very frequently," said the Mayor.
      At the end of these briefings with representatives of business organizations, as well as with the suppliers of basic products, the Mayor expressed his appreciation for the goodwill shown by representatives of these sectors to combat the pandemic caused by COVID-19, saying that the supply of first-priority products, such as medications, continues to be guaranteed.

City implements medical screening at docks
      As part of the actions carried out by the City of Isla Mujeres, in coordination with the Ministry of Health and the Port Authority of Quintana Roo (APIQRoo), for the prevention of COVID-19, on Tuesday morning medical supervisory screening began for people entering the island at the entry and exit piers, as well as on the busiest beaches of the municipality.

  In response to the health emergency caused by the coronavirus, the municipal president, Juan Carrillo Soberanis, gave instructions to implement ongoing screenings at the various points of entry to the municipality, including the dock used by passengers of Ultramar and Perla Negra, as well as other sites where many people disembark, where municipal authorities are performing temperature checks and screening for symptoms caused by the virus.
   The Mayor toured the points where the screenings are being done and emphasized that these types of actions will be maintained until this situation ends, saying that prevention is the best weapon to combat the coronavirus. He emphasized that there are no confirmed nor suspicious cases in the municipality.
    Dr. Xhanat Tze González Mora, coordinator of the municipal CRIM (physical rehabilitation) facility, emphasized the importance of having these physical screenings and reviews of people as they disembark from the boats, and if they have a temperature higher than 38 degress Celsius, or respiratory problems, they will be channeled to another, more detailed screening.
     She said, "If their temperature exceeds 38 degrees or they have any symptoms or respiratory problems, another screening is required with an interview to determine if they have any risk of suffering from COVID-19. If this is suspected or likely, they will be channeled directly to the Ministry of Health to carry out the appropriate testing."

   Dr. Mora took advantage of this opportunity to remind everyone to follow the recommendations of health authorities and avoid going to places where there are large numbers of people, as well as to wash your hands with water and soap frequently and, if you feel any symptoms of the coronavirus, call the number of the Ministry of Health or contact (acercarse-approach) the Community Hospital in Isla Mujeres.

The municipal government is committed to good health, therefore, more than 70 public servants have visited the public and private schools with the objective of raising awareness about the importance COVID-19 prevention. VIDEO    

City Officials Visit Schools Giving Advice on COVID-19 Prevention Measures
   More than 70 directors, deputy directors and coordinators of the various municipal agencies and departments visited the schools of Isla Mujeres to raise awareness about the importance of following sanitary measures to prevent contagion of COVID-19.
    Public officials visited the 28 schools of the municipality, covering all school levels, where they presented themselves in front of students with information sheets explaining the various health recommendations to "close the door" to the coronavirus.
     They emphasized that among the easiest and most important measures to implement in homes and schools is to frequently wash your hands with soap and water, or when appropriate, with alcohol-based disinfectant. They advised respiratory hygiene measures like covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, using your inner elbow or a tissue, then to immediately discard the tissue and wash your hands; and to avoid crowded public places. 
 Preserving health in our municipality is everyone's job: Mayor JCS
    The Mayor personally supervised the sanitizing of vehicles entering the island from Punta Sam, to reduce the risks of COVID-19. Sanitizing procedures also took place at the Town Hall offices and in public transportation, which will continue to take place to ensure the health of bureaucrats and the public.
     The Mayor said, "As a government we are doing our part, but we can only contain this contingency as a team, doing all that we can; as citizens we must take the matter seriously and undertake the prevention measures issued by the Ministry of Public Health, such as frequent hand washing for example; it's very important."
   He said that preventative measures are being increased so that Isla Mujeres may continue to have zero cases of coronavirus, including the implementation of health screenings on the docks and suspension of activities at the Senior Citizens facility and the DIF Day-facility, as well as providing an informational brigade to the schools. (The rest of the information in this article can be found among the other articles.)
 VIDEO of Mayor with caption saying there are no confirmed nor probable cases of COVID-19, and together we can take preventative measures to 'close the doors' to this disease. There will be official recommendations and we will take actions together at all three levels of government for the welfare of society. 
The Coronavirus Game--
 Ask one of your parents to draw a coronavirus on your palms each moring. During the day you erase the drawing with soap and water--the more time you wash, the better! If the design is gone by night time, you win! 

 Article from March 16 at noon saying that hotels reported occupancy of ~75% over the weekend. 
    With  beaches that are clean, with white sand, turquoise blue waters and have been awarded the Blue Flag certification, Isla Mujeres reported a good weekend. Its main beaches were crowded with visitors, and the hotel occupancy rate was approximately 75 percent.
      In addition to the natural beauties of Isla Mujeres attracting visitors, efforts have been made by the municipal government led by the Mayor, to promote the Pueblo Magico at the main international and national Tourism Fairs, to make thousands of vacationers aware of this destination. vacationists.
      Gustavo Rodríguez Orozco, Director of Tourism, said that the intention has always been to keep the main attractions of Isla Mujeres in good condition because "those who visit this little piece of heaven on earth, always return, for all the goodness it offers us."
        The director of the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone (Zofemat), Kerem Pinto Aguilar, said that the work on the beaches is ongoing and continuous, under instructions of the Mayor, in addition to working in coordination with other departments such as Civil Protection and the Firefighters, Public Services and the Department of Public Security and Municipal Transit, to mention a few.   
  Mr. Rodriguez agreed about the importance of providing an unforgettable stay to visitors who are the main economic generators for the municipality, whose main activity is tourism.

TVisla Mujeres    

Notice--In compliance with official recommendations, the Circus performances have been cancelled.

On Tuesday, the peso closed at a record low of 23.16 per dollar on the interbank market, according to the Central Bank of Mexico. On Friday it closed at 21.9 pesos per dollar. The Mexican Stock Exchange fell 3.2% on Tuesday, and was closed on Monday by a local holiday.  While the market was trading, the pesos touched 23.24 per dollar, according to Citibanamex. In recent days, the value of the Mexican currency has reflected concerns about the economic impact of the pandemic.LINK 

March 17--Isla Mujeres businesses have begun to feel the effects of decreased hotel occupancy LINK
   Although not much has been officially said, many hotels are known to have suffered from the cancellation of their reservations due to the risks of a spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). After the recommendations made by the United States and other countries not to make international trips,  local businesses are beginning to feel the drop in hotel occupancy. 
       Main streets and avenues of Isla Mujeres that until a few weeks ago looked crowded, today suffer from the drop in hotel occupancy. Entrepreneurs recognize that this is a reflection of what is happening around the world. 
     A restaurateur said that many of the tourists who arrived since November to spend the winter in Isla Mujeres have now been notified by the embassies of their countries, advising them to return to their country of origin. The restaurateur said that the vast majority will follow the recommendations, as they fear that the border will be closed and that they will not be able to return later.  The forecasts are not encouraging and it is believed that this situation could last for several more months.
    The Open Water Championship scheduled for March 27-28 in Isla Mujeres has been cancelled. The City Council is analyzing what will happen with the Mayan Rally scheduled for May 22 & 23 and the "Cosme Alberto Martínez Magaña Fishing Tournament scheduled for May 23 and 24. 

   Noti Isla Mujeres     

There is a notice from the Director of the Community Hospital this (Wednesday) afternoon in regard to a FALSE rumor. She emphasizes that there have been NO cases of coronavirus on Isla Mujeres. She also requests that people only come to the hospital if it is truly necessary and that they only bring one person to accompany them. 

From  Por Esto :

Contingency Plan activated
Activan Plan de Contingencia   

March 17--As a preventive measure and in order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the Community Hospital activated its Contingency Plan, which consists of screening patients when they first arrive, and if they have any suspicious symptoms, they will be transferred directly to an office dedicated to isolating any suspected cases. This office has been available for isolation since the beginning of March. In addition, the epidemiologist will be notified. 
       This information was shared by the director of the hospital, Leily Guadalupe Osorio Mares, who said it has not been necessary use the special office, so far. She said there is a detection team for the symptoms of this disease and a confirmatory test for the Covid-19 virus, but no suspicious cases have presented yet. 
       She explained that any patients who are suspected of having the virus will be taken into the office and not allowed into areas where other patients or staff are located. They will be reviewed for symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat and muscle pain, which are possible symptoms of COVID-19. If it is a non-serious case, the recommendation will be to stay isolated in their home. 
    If the review shows more probable results of the presence of  Covid-19 virus, there is a special space in the Community Hospital, and if it is very serious, it is transferred to the Cancun General Hospital. She explained that prevention measures are a priority out that as a hospital the prioriy because in reality there is no treatment. 
   She concluded by reviewing the preventative measures which include avoiding handshakes, hugs, kisses, and mass gatherings, and even not going out into the street when it isn't necessary. She advised frequent hand washing, use of antibacterial gel, avoiding touching your face, and covering your mouth and nose with your inner elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throwing the tissue in the trash. 

COVID-19 halts sports activities  

Frena Covid-19 al deporte

On Tuesday, all sports activities which involve concentrations of people, in all disciplines of sports and all leagues, both municipal and state, began an indefinite recess, as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19, in accordance with instructions from state and municipal authorities.  
    The Isla Mujeres baseball teams "Cockteleros" and "Pescadores", who are currently competing in the grand finale in the "Laura Fernández Piña" Baseball League, both received notices that the tournament has been suspended. In the men's division of the State Basketball League (Lieba), they are still considering the possibility of holding the second round of the semifinals next weekend behind closed doors with no public present. 
   The recess is indefinite and expected to last about a month.

Screening implemented at three piers LINK  
   See above. Screening was implemented which includes using infrared thermometers to detect the temperatures of passengers arriving to Isla Mujeres from Puerto Juarez, Punta Sam, and the Cancun Hotel Zone. In addition to the screenings at the APIQRoo Maritime passenger and cargo Terminals, screening was also implemented at the Mocambo company dock, the Lima Dock and the Perla Negra dock, due to their flow of people disembarking, who will all undergo screening for symptoms and elevated temperatures, which could indicate the COVID-19 virus.
  Sinks and antibacterial gel dispensers have been installed at the terminals in Isla Mujeres, Puerto Juarez, and Punta Sam,  so that passengers and staff can wash their hands, which is one of the main recommendations by state health authorities to prevent COVID-19.
   The screening staff will remain at the docks, especially the passenger and cargo docks, during all the hours they are in service.

Up to 40% decrease in retail activity  

Decae 40% la actividad en comercios

   Although officials haven't reported on a drop of commercial activity, to Juan Carrillo Figueroa, president of the National Chamber of Commerc, retail activity has dropped as much as 40 percent. Officials report that hotel occupancy is at 64 percent overall, of which 75 percent is on the island and 63 percent is in the mainland part of the municipality. Hoteliers are reporting cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic and circumstances worldwide, which have closed the borders of some countries that are traditional sources of tourists visiting Isla Mujeres. The Posada del Mar reported 35 cancellations. Many tourists on the island are rushing back to their home countires because they are concerned about being stranded in Mexcio, while others are cancelling or postponing vacations they had planned.  LINK    

33 students sent home from the Middle School

De regreso a casa: 33 alumnos de la secundaria Benito Juárez

   Thirty-three students of the Benito Juarez middle school were sent home after they were screened at the entrance of the school for elevated temperatures or symptoms of respiratory infections. The primary schools and kindergartens reported an absence of about 20-25 children per school, mostly at the lower levels.


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"Reverse Sunset" (looking east from MVC)
Free amenities include hammocks, portable beach chairs, beach towels, washer & dryer, loungers, shared bikes, BBQ grill, and safes.  Panoramic views from the rooftop terrace. Large sliding doors open to a patio & the white sand backyard-beach, overlooking the Caribbean sea.  Downtown is  ~ a mile away; we're on all four bus routes or  flag a $3 taxi. Off street parking. You can enjoy the music & crowds downtown, then return to the quiet neighborhood of Bachilleres and  sleep to the sounds of the sea.$275/$325/$425 wk   $40/50/$65nt  Monthly Discounts
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
March Events 
Provided by MaraVilla Caribe & Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events

Thursday afternoons ~3p-8p Artist Fair on the Paseo de la Triguena off the Town Square at the malecon by the food trucks.

Sunday's at 1p there may be baseball games at the stadium in front of Chedraui. There are two teams, the Pescadores & the Cockteleros, who are in Category A & Category B of the same league, which is currently having the playoffs for the season championship.

Occasionally, Sunday evenings 8p on the Town Square "Noches Magicas" performances  

Fishermen in this region are banned from catching grouper, lobster and octopus during March  LINK

Sunday, March 1--At 1p at the Pescaodores baseball field the Isla Mujeres Pescadores will play the Rockies of Cancun, after losing the first game in their three game series in the semifinals. If the Pescadores beat the Rockies twice, they will win in Group B category of their league. The Isla Mujeres Cockteleros won the Group A category & are waiting to see who they'll  play from Group B for the league championship. LINK  

Thursday, March 5--There is usually a ceremony commemorating the arrival of Francisco Hernandez Cordoba in 1517, who is credited with discovering the Yucatan and what is now Mexico, after landing on Isla Mujeres. The expedition of 110 men in 3 boats sailed from Cuba and around the coast, battling with the Maya, until all but one were injured, and over 50 had died. Cordoba died after returning to Cuba.

Sunday, March 8--International Women's Day

Monday, March 9--Full Moon, which is the second of four Super Moons in 2020, meaning it is at its closest approach to the Earth while full, making it appear slightly larger and brighter than usual.

Tuesday, March 10-Civic Ceremony at 9am on the Town Square 

Monday, March 16--Day off in honor of the birthday of Benito Juarez on March 21st.

Tuesday, March 17--St Patrick's Day

Wednesday March 18--Observation of Oil Expropriation Day (not an official day off--businesses & schools will be operating normally). Commemorates the nationalization of Mexico's oil fields on this date in 1938.

Thursday, March 19--Spring Equinox

Thursday, March 19--Dia de San Jose, which MAY be celebrated with a dance on the Town Square.

Tuesday, March 24-- Venus reaches its greatest eastern elongation of 46.1 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Venus since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the bright planet in the western sky after sunset. Mercury reaches its greatest western elongation of 27.8 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise. New moon--lack of moonlight is the best time to observe galaxies & star clusters.

Friday & Saturday, March 27 & 28-- About 600 swimmers are expected to participate in the National Open Water Championship 2020 which will be held in Isla Mujeres on March 27 & 28. The winners of the 10 kilometer competition will represent Mexico in Tokyo during the pre-Olympic match for the Olympic games. The top 20 swimmers in the categories of 14-15, 16-17, and 18-19 divisions, in the categories of 5k, 7.5k and 10k will qualify for the National Conade Games 2020.

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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