May 12, 2021

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Mayors concerned by South African variant of COVID-19 in Puerto Rico

Luis Javier Hernández Ortiz, first executive of Villalba and president of the Association of Mayors of Puerto Rico, reacted to the changes issued yesterday by Governor Pedro Pierluisi to the Executive Order related to Covid-19, ensuring that the South African variant of the virus totally changes the scenario in Puerto Rico.

“Some of the recommendations that we associate mayors made were accepted in the changes that will apply from tomorrow, but more restrictions are definitely missing. I have to emphasize that the decision of the associate mayors prior to the announcement of the identification of the South African variant, and this completely changes the picture. Somehow the government has to tell us how this really affects us, if there are already people in the hospitals with this variant and obviously make day-to-day decisions, because this new variant expires the vaccine, ”said Hernández Ortiz.

The leader of the 41 associate mayors pointed out that the aspect of the beaches and spas must also be addressed, “which we know are under the control of the State and we are asking the Governor to reconsider, to listen to the mayors of the coastal areas, because many difficult situations are being seen, with tourists, residents of nearby towns, there are thousands of people who go to the beaches without any compliance with the health regulations ”.

Regarding the administration of vaccines, “we are asking the Governor to be more emphatic in administering them, to be 24/7, to all equally, to be delivered proportionally to all municipalities.” In fact, some municipal mayors with CDTs and hospitals such as Yabucoa, Juncos, Río Grande, are pointing out that vaccines do not reach their municipalities.

“This is important, and obviously put ourselves at the disposal of the Governor to work as a team. It is important that the country sees us working together and that in some way, the sense of urgency to work together and make the right decisions becomes a reality ”, argued Hernández Ortiz.

Regarding the issue of travelers, the mayor added that “although we see well that our recommendation to demand molecular testing from all travelers arriving on the island has been accepted, we see inconsistencies in the following: those travelers who do not bring with them the result of the test, they are given 48 hours to perform it. We know that will not work. The determination must be, you are not vaccinated, or you do not have a negative molecular test, you should not enter Puerto Rico ”.

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