/ Modified apr 13, 2020 4:39 p.m.

Sonoran authorities will enforce strict stay-at-home order through April 30

Sonorans could be fined, forcibly returned to their homes or arrested if they are caught outside without one of six permitted reasons.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, state and local leaders in neighboring Sonora, Mexico have agreed to implement a strict stay-at-home order until at least April 30. The new measures are among the most severe in Mexico.

Sonorans could be fined, forcibly returned to their homes or arrested if they are caught outside without one of six permitted reasons, which include such as buying groceries, receiving medical care, going to the bank or jobs deemed essential, returning home or caring for an elderly or vulnerable person.

And those activities must be done alone — only one person is allowed per vehicle, and people cannot walk together in groups.

"The more effective we are in complying with these measures, the more quickly we can get out of this contingency plan and the quarantine, and most importantly, with the least loss of lives," state Health Secretary Enrique Clausen said during a press conference Sunday night, reminding Sonorans about what is being called "Stay-At-Home Phase Two."

Clausen added that state and local police, as well as armed forces, are being asked to enforce the measures and make sure the majority of people do not leave their houses out of concern for the lives and well-being of Sonorans.

"All of the authorities are worried," he said, pointing to the lack of cooperation with previous restrictions as the reason for the stricter measures now.

Health experts hope to reduce the number of people in the streets and public places by 85%, which they say is necessary to prevent a widespread outbreak that would overwhelm the state's health services.

The mayors of Sonora’s 12 largest municipalities — with about 90% of the state’s population — started enforcing the new measures Monday.

There are 86 confirmed coronavirus cases and 12 deaths in Sonora. State authorities say Sonora has the sixth highest death rate from the virus in Mexico, which had confirmed 4,661 cases and 296 deaths as of Monday morning.

The border city of San Luis Rio Colorado the highest number of confirmed cases in Sonora with 31 people testing positive for the coronavirus.

Fronteras Desk
Fronteras Desk is a KJZZ project covering important stories in an expanse stretching from Northern Arizona deep into northwestern Mexico.
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