A little more than two months ago, the state of Guerrero and its iconic resort of Acapulco were plagued by the coronavirus pandemic with a hospital occupation on the verge of overflowing. But the moment of acute crisis passed and state authorities announced on Friday that they will open the availability of hotel beds up to 40% this weekend.
Between the end of May and the beginning of June, Guerrero was the state with the highest occupancy of general beds in the entire country with 78% and in its capital, Chilpancingo, they had only five beds available with a respirator. In Acapulco, located about 350 kilometers south of Mexico City, the El Quemado General Hospital occupied 41 of 48 ventilator beds and the Renacimiento hospital exhausted its capacity.
“On the issue of the pandemic, Guerrero was placed in the first place of occupation at times and this forced us to work in a fast and coordinated way … having been in a moment of crisis in the first place of general hospital occupation and with ventilation, we are in place 25 and 27, respectively, ”said state governor Héctor Astudillo at a press conference in which he was accompanied by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
As of Thursday, Guerrero had 12,883 confirmed cases and at least 1,527 deaths, but Astudillo said that of those 608 occurred in June and the number dropped to 375 last month.
“We are talking about a 40% decrease from one month to another and according to the estimated number we calculate that it will be 270 in August. It has decreased a lot, the pandemic is there, but the data on the number of deaths is significant ”, he added.
In the figures of the health authorities a slower transmission of the virus is observed. On August 12, the state registered just 22 infections, the lowest number in several weeks.
The resort reopened its hotels to 30% of their capacity in July and this weekend it will increase it to 40%. In addition, cinemas and museums will reopen, but bars and clubs will remain closed.
“Fortunately in the case of Guerrero there has been a notorious decrease in both infected and deaths here. My forecast is that very soon it will return to normality, it is already returning to productive activity, tourism in Acapulco, but I estimate that in a month, two more months, we will have very favorable conditions, “said the president. López Obrador.
With 800,000 rooms and almost 23,000 lodging establishments, Mexico occupies the seventh position in the world in hotel infrastructure.
According to the latest report released at the end of last year, in 2018 tourism contributed 8.7% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and generated 2.3 million jobs.
“The pandemic is decreasing, it is well known that it has decreased and will continue to decrease, there is no regrowth,” said the Mexican president. “Acapulco Bay is synonymous with beauty and I am optimistic, I feel that soon the economy and tourism will be reactivated for the benefit of Acapulco and Guerrero.”
The city located on the Pacific used to be a glamorous place and attracted international celebrities. It was during a vacation there in the 1960s that novelist Gabriel García Márquez came up with the idea of writing “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” In 1975, Bill Clinton took Hillary on their honeymoon to Acapulco.
But in the 1970s and 1980s, the port’s infrastructure deteriorated and poor settlements emerged around the bay, sparking problems of unemployment, crime, and pollution.
Starting in 2006, drug trafficking violence turned Acapulco into one of the most violent cities in Mexico. The US State Department maintains a recommendation not to visit the city or state of Guerrero despite the fact that homicides decreased approximately 20% in the first half of this year compared to the same period of 2019.
“It is a tourist center where there has been a considerable decrease in violence,” said López Obrador. “And there may or may not be a pandemic and there may be very beautiful beaches, but if there is no security there is no progress and now there is what is important, greater security.”
Until Friday, Mexico has registered 505,751 cases of the new coronavirus and 55,293 deaths.