Friday, March 19, 2021

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Friday, March 19

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The entire state remains in Yellow on the state epidemiological light for the upcoming week March 22-28.

 Thursday, March 18, the municipality of Isla Mujeres reported a total of 278 cases, 25 deaths and 231 recovered. The state geoportal reports one active case in colonia 23 de noviembre.


 Yesterday (Thursday), the United States announced that it plans to share 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca C-19 vaccine with its two neighbors.  This vaccine has been authorized for use in both countries, but has not been approved in the United States. Mexico will receive 2.5 million doses of the vaccine, and the other 1.5 million doses will go to Canada, according to White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.Usage of this vaccine has been authorized in more than 70 countries.

Tens of millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been sitting idly at US manufacturing sites, awaiting results from US clinical trials, while countries who have authorized its use have been begging for access. Mexico's President has publicly requested that the Biden administration send doses to his country. AstraZeneca has about 30 million doses currently bottled at its Ohio facility, and asked the US to give consideration to these requests.In Baltimore, tens of millions more doses will be available once they are placed into vials and packaged.

A US senior administration official said these deals with Mexico and Canada, which have not been finalized, will not affect President Biden's plan to have vaccines available for all US adults by the end of May. They said the vaccines are being lent under a deal in which the US expects to be paid back later in the year. Two officials said the vaccine would be delivered in "short order" once the deal is completed, but declined to give a more specific timetable. 

 On Saturday morning, Mexico received 1 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine from China, which is the largest shipment to date. More than 2 million doses of this vaccine have been delivered so far. On Monday March 22nd, a half-million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine are expected to arrive. Nearly 6.5 million doses of vaccines have arrived in Mexico in 16 shipments, on 27 flights, as shown in the screenshots. The last one indicates that Mexico has received ingredients to bottle 10 million doses. Mexico has a over 128 million residents, and is the 10th most populous country in the world. Nearly 70% of the population are adults, which would be about 90 million people.



Lab closed in Cancun after international controversy & their mobile unit came to Isla Mujeres 

     On Tuesday, COFEPRIS (Agency for Protection Against Sanitary Risk) temporarily closed and secured the Marbu laboratory in Cancun, after the company issued negative PCR results to a group of Argentinian tourists, and then many of them tested positive for C-19 upon arrival in their home country. The Prosecutor's office has also opened an investigation. 

     Wednesday afternoon, there was a mobile C-19 testing unit driving around downtown Isla Mujeres, which TV Isla Mujeres reported is from that same Marbu laboratory, noting that "although the intention was to put its services into operation, it seems the (municipal) department of fiscalización (Enforcement) has put a stop to initiation of their work". When the Director of Tourism was asked about the situation, he replied that he wasn't aware of the vehicle's arrival, and that it is an issue for COFEPRIS, who provide the corresponding permits.

    This weekend, forty-four passengers tested positive when they arrived at the Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport, who were among 149 Argentinian students returning from a graduation trip in Cancun. On Monday, another student group of 50 Argentinians returned from Cancun with 30 of them testing positive upon arrival, for a total of 74 presumably infected vacationers. Argentinian officials administered PCR tests to follow up the positive antigen tests, and are conducting genome sequencing for possible C-19 variants. They also began identifying and tracking other passengers in regard to the mandatory 10-day quarantine.

      The first group of students visited Quintana Roo for eight days, March 3-11, staying at the Moon Palace Hotel in the Riviera Maya. The government of Quintana Roo said that since the incubation period of C-19 is between 1 and 14 days, "it isn't possible to determine whether the students were infected during their stay in Cancun or were infected in their country of origin, before the trip." Officials pointed out that in a strict epidemiological sense, it is possible to have differences between two laboratory tests when they are performed 72 hours apart, because that is enough time to accumulate a higher viral load. The PCR tests with the negative results from the private laboratory in Quintana Roo were administered on March 9, and the positive results were found by the Argentinian authorities two days later on March 11th, via antigen testing.

     Among those who tested positive was the 17 year-old son of Argentinian journalist Nancy Pazos, who previously had C-19 in August, but without symptoms. She said this time he was experiencing fever, cough, and body aches when he was swabbed at the hotel in Cancun, where all 65 boys tested negative. She said the doctor there told him that he had "una angina". Her son asked her to arrange another test because he was convinced he was infected again. She said, "I organized it so that they were swabbed as soon as they arrived at the Ezeiza airport....on Thursday night. On Friday morning his test was positive, but he was already isolated." A controversy arose in Argentina over videos of Agustin Riquelme in his famous father's box on Sunday attending the Boca-River soccer match after being among the 149 graduates on the Cancun trip.

     On Tuesday, Dr. Hugo Lopez-Gatell (Mexico's Dr. Fauci-equivalent) responded to questions about the incident during a national C-19 press conference, saying they are collaborating with the Quintana Roo government, who had learned about it through the news, because there was no notification to the state health authorities by the private laboratory that conducted the tests, which is required by law. He said the private laboratory is not authorized to provide this testing and they are awaiting detailed information about its accreditation and operating licenses. He said the investigations include the hotels where the young people stayed and are looking for any existing outbreaks, as well as conducting training with personnel based on the health security protocols that were established months ago in the state's tourism industry. He said the state's report is expected before the end of the week, and they will comment on the details.

    The investigation of the Marbu lab in Cancun by Mexican authorities includes testing their equipment and its calibrations, reviewing protocols and examining documentation, as well as verifying their licenses and accredidation.

    The Argentinian government issued a statement reiterating its recommendation to avoid non-essential travel abroad and said they are evaluating restricting the travel of graduates abroad, considering it "an activity with high epidemiological risk." There are almost 100,000 Argentinians abroad, of whom 34% are tourists, according to

     Mexican journalists compared this incident with the five-day "Art with Me" festival in Tulum that was followed by a report from a testing company in the United States that of 179 tests they administered in the week following the event, 70% of the positives were associated with the Tulum event. On his TV show, Argentinian journalist Facundo Pastor claimed that due to Covid, "there are more than 250 kids ('pibes y pibas') stranded in Cancun hotels".
The Secretary of Tourism in Quintana Roo, Marisol Vanegas Pérez, described the incident as "isolated" and said the state has received more than five million tourist since its economic reopening. In worldwide ranking by C-19 cases, Argentina is 12th with 2.22 million cases, and Mexico is 13th with 2.18 million, according to Worldometers. Written by Ronda Winn-Roberts


 From the City (Ayuntamiento de Isla Mujeres)


 On Saturdays from 10a to 2p, services to assist with legal matters continue to be available at the police station to promote lives free of violence for women.  Counseling and courses are also offered on issues such as sexuality, human rights, gender perspective, social work and psychological report. More information is available from the Crime Prevention Unit at  998999051(that appears to be missing a digit) or on Facebook at  Prevención del Delito Isla Mujeres; email: and at the Procuraduría del Menor (DIF) -- 9981508958.

 The correct way to wear a face mask is to cover your nose and mouth so you reduce the spread of Covid-19.

     The municipal government is working in coordination with state programs for the prevention of the spread of C-19 and the reactivation of the economy, which include the "Guardianes por Quintana Roo", the "Gorras y Chalecos Amarillos" and the “Guardias Auxiliares Ciudadanas”. ("Guardians for Quintana Roo", ′"Yellow Caps & Vests ′′ and "Citizen Auxiliary Guards"). 

    The Guardians are stationed at the APIQRoo (state Port Authority) Maritime Terminal and at the Perla Negra dock (Black Pearl, where day-visitor boats dock behind the large newish souvenir-restaurant-pharmacy store on Medina) taking temperatures and providing hand gel. The Yellow Caps & Vests invite the general populace (and all tourists) to wear face masks correctly and to remember the sanitary measures, who are also stationed at the Maritime Terminal and by the Isla Mujeres photo-op sign and panoramic view located behind the Casa de la Cultura. The Citizen Auxiliary of the municipal police department provide information at strategic points around the island. 

   The municipal General Secretary, Miriam Trejo León, said, "These are three programs that we continue to work with on the issue of the pandemic, to continue strengthening sanitary measures, so that we do not have any rebounds; we must avoid leaving home and only go out to do what is necessary, wearing face masks, washing our hands, and avoiding busy places, so that we can move forward."

  By following hygiene measures we help reduce the spread of covid-19, remember to wash your hands before you put on your face mask.

 The correct way to wear a face mask is to cover your nose and mouth completely, to reduce the spread of Covid-19.


 TVisla Mujeres 

 ZOFEMAT removed 50 tons of sargasso from the beaches of Isla Mujeres LINK  

    The Director of ZOFEMAT (Federal Zone agency), Kerem Pinto Aguilar, said the crews of her agency responded to an atypically large amount of sargasso that began arriving last Thursday, which is a phenomenon that has been affecting the coasts of the Mexican Caribbean year after year. The crews and the sargasso-cleaning machine were dispatched to address the issue and remove the sargasso from the beaches, which was concluded on Wednesday, and had begun to emit a bad smell. Fortunately, these works were completed rapidly and now the beaches are totally clean. (Before & after photos)



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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, 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  


Full moon Feb 27 Saturday rose at 7:27p

Feb 28 Sunday it rose at 8:28p

March 1 Monday  at 9:29p

March 2 Tuesday at 10:31p

March 3 Wednesday at 11:33p

Full Moon rises Sunday, March 28 at 7:12p

Monday, March 29 at 8:15

Tuesday, March 30 at 9:19

Wednesday, March 31 at 10:25

Sunset 6:51- 7:01(beginning vs end of month)

 Sunrise 7:05-6:41


Public events have been suspended due to C-19, but a race is being held March 27. Some holidays have featured online competitions and events. 

Friday, March 5th:  When public events were held, there was an annual 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. 

Monday,March: 8 International Women's Day

 Saturday, March 20: Spring Equinox

Monday, March 15: The third Monday in March is a day off for the birthday of Benito Juarez, which is on Sunday, March 21st.

Wednesday, March 17Día de San Patricio / St Patrick's Day

Sunday, March 21: Benito Juarez's birthday 

Saturday, March 27: 7am Eastern Malecon--Race of 5 km & 10 km (Starts behind Casa de la Cultura at Guerrero & Abasolo, by the photo op sign). With recommended protocols, registration is free.


Sunday, March 28: Palm Sunday 

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


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