Swine Flu Affecting Mexico's Economy

April 29, 2009 7:46:49 PM PDT
The swine flu epidemic is having a huge impact on Mexico's already struggling economy. Mexico City has added restaurants to the list of government-mandated business closures ... And now the European Union is considering suspending all flights to Mexico.Fernando Ortiz was at the Mexican consulate in Fresno Wednesday-- getting a passport to travel to Mexico City to visit his sister. "They have so far been very lucky-- so far not have gotten sick but its taking a toll on them because they are staying home-- they can't go anywhere down there."

Commerce in Mexico's capital city has slowed to a crawl since the government ordered the closure of public places, including movie theaters, schools, museums ... And now even restaurants are only allowed to serve take-out.

Ortiz: "She says the restaurants and even churches are closed down for the public. And yeah if you can't go out to work its going to create come kind of financial impact."

The Mexican chamber of commerce estimates Mexico City alone is losing $110 million dollars a day due to the crisis. Acting Mexican consulate in Fresno-- Selene Barceló says as tremendous as the cost is to Mexico's economy, the measures are necessary to control the spread of the virus. "In Mexico the authorities are aware of all types of impacts including economic-- and are trying to plan-- as we speak."

But as the country looks for ways to lessen the impact ... Mexico's 12-billion dollar a year tourism industry has begun to suffer.

Countries like Cuba and Argentina are now banning travel to and/or from Mexico ... Cruise lines are also cancelling stops at Mexican ports ... and several airlines, including Mexicana at Fresno Yosemite international airport are allowing passengers to reschedule their flights to Mexico for even a year out-- at no extra charge.

China is providing 5-million dollars in humanitarian assistance to Mexico for masks, gloves, disinfectants, infrared thermal scanners and other equipment.

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