The situation in Mexico City continues to escalate. In an unprecedented move, President Felipe Calderon has declared a public health emergency, activating a sweeping array of powers.
From the Bloomberg.com news story:
Authorities have canceled school at all levels in Mexico City and the state of Mexico until further notice, and the government has shut most public and government activities in the area. The emergency decree, published today in the state gazette, gives the president authority to take more action.
“The federal government under my charge will not hesitate a moment to take all, all the measures necessary to respond with efficiency and opportunity to this respiratory epidemic,” Calderon said today during a speech to inaugurate a hospital in the southern state of Oaxaca.
Museums, theaters and other venues in the Mexico City area, where large crowds gather, have shut down voluntarily and concerts and other events canceled to help contain the disease. Two professional soccer games will be played tomorrow in different Mexico City stadiums without any fans, El Universal newspaper reported. Catholic masses will be held, the newspaper said, although church officials urged worshipers to wear breath masks and to avoid contact.
Schools will likely remain closed next week, Calderon said in the Oaxaca speech. The decree allows Calderon to regulate transportation, enter any home or building for inspection, order quarantines and assign any task to all federal, state and local authorities as well as health professionals to combat the disease.
“The health of Mexicans is a cause that we’re defending with unity and responsibility,” Calderon said. “I know that although it’s a grave problem, a serious problem, we’re going to overcome it.”
Also, there is now an Obama link to the epidemic. On April 13th, the apparent first day of the epidemic, well--- you read it yourself. Also from the Bloomberg story:
The first case was seen in Mexico on April 13. The outbreak coincided with the President Barack Obama’s trip to Mexico City on April 16. Obama was received at Mexico’s anthropology museum in Mexico City by Felipe Solis, a distinguished archeologist who died the following day from symptoms similar to flu, Reforma newspaper reported. The newspaper didn’t confirm if Solis had swine flu or not.
So the President of the United States -- the leader of the Free World -- was possibly exposed to a pathogen without his knowledge. It's almost like an episode of 24.