The United States registers almost 340 thousand cases of coronavirus on Monday, while in Mexico the health authorities report 2,143 cases and 94 deaths
Juárez Chih.- Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, separated by a wall but twinned for decades, now seem further away due to the coronavirus crisis, which has made it difficult to move from one side to the other and has filled people with fear.
Following an agreement between the governments of Mexico and the United States on March 20, the United States Office of Customs and Border Protection limited the border crossing to reasons of force majeure for US residents and citizens.
It even prohibited access to Mexican citizens despite having a so-called laser visa or border crossing card, in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
The United States registers almost 340 thousand cases of coronavirus on Monday, while in Mexico the health authorities report 2,143 cases and 94 deaths.
As a result of this decision, they have been reduced to trade and essential travel at crossings of the entire border between Mexico and the United States, considered the most widely used in the world and with a trade of one million dollars per minute.
As Efe found, the decision has caused a fear of crossing the border for the people of El Paso, since they are not sure if “the cause” of their visit to Mexico will be a valid reason for the immigration agents.
Juana Juárez, a resident of the United States, has been forced to cross in fear, but with the need to help her mother, who needs special care.
“In fact, I had not passed (from the country), right now is the first pass that I will give. And I don’t know right now that I’m coming back, I don’t know. They tell me that nothing else is a resident or a citizen, and that is all, ”the woman told Efe, who had many doubts about how she would manage to cross the border.
He added that although he had postponed the crossing, for her it is now essential since his mother “needs financial help.”
Like her, thousands of people have reduced their crossings these days for fear of the measures that could be taken, or of not being able to return.
This has had an “advantage”, it now passes the country in a few minutes, when before it took about an hour on average.
Until the last report, the Texas city of El Paso had reported 115 positive cases of COVID-19, while on the other side of the wall, in Ciudad Juárez, a total of eight cases have been reported.
Ciudad Juárez takes protection measures
Prevention by the Government of the State of Chihuahua – the region to which Ciudad Juárez belongs – begins when people from the United States set foot in Mexico.
To this end, a program has been launched where health personnel performs a questionnaire on those who cross.
And later, if necessary, the temperature is measured in order to avoid running the risk of allowing a person infected with coronavirus to enter the country.
“We want to avoid is that infected people come to Ciudad Juárez and then infect. We have to make a filter type so that people who have any possible symptoms can channel them and then take them to a medical center so that they can undergo the necessary tests, ”paramedic María López told Efe.
El Paso Texas also took action
The measure of canceling practically anyone who is not a resident or American citizen to enter the United States has caused the almost zero flow of vehicles in the different border ports of Ciudad Juárez.
And with it, the decrease in income for businesses that live on visitors from both sides of the border.
“They think that many people cross there (EU) to do their shopping and everything … But right now everything is empty, everything empty, there is not a single store open,” Teresita Camargo told Efe.
She does not visit Mexico regularly, but this time she preferred to leave the quarantine at her home in El Paso to bring medicine to her niece who, due to immigration reasons, has not been able to enter the United States.
The government of the state of Chihuahua will remain with its program of control and review of health for foreign visitors until at least April 30, while Customs and Border Protection of the United States (CBP) has not disclosed when they will be able to re-enter to the country people who are not residents or American citizens.
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