Mexico will virtually close for business come tomorrow on one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year. But fear, not fiesta, is on most people’s minds.
President Felipe Calderon has asked people to stay at home for five days, and has called on all non-essential activities to shut down to try and break the swine flu’s reproductive cycle. The measures will be costly, but without them more lives could be lost. “Friends, I want to ask you all that in these days of the long holiday weekend we are going to have to stay at home with your families from the first to the fifth of May, because there is no safer place to avoid contagion of swine flu than in your own home,” said President Felipe Calderon on national television. Some good news comes from the capital Mexico City, far from the village where the swine flu variant struck for the first time. The mayor says new cases are falling, and that the virus should have finished with Mexico in less than three months. In all, it has been estimated will cost Mexico’s already recession-hit economy between 0.3 and 0.5 percent of GDP, with the worst affected sectors tourism, transport, and aviation.