The Ministry of Health in the southern Mexican border state of Chiapas announced that any migrant infected with the coronavirus seeking to enter Mexico’s southern border will be turned away. The security precaution was announced shortly after confirmation of migrant caravans originating from Honduras heading to Chiapas.
The change in border policy is one of several mandates to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in Mexico. Also, the government of Chiapas established surveillance outposts at airports to monitor possible cases of the disease.
Authorities will continue to allow non-infected migrants from Central America, Cuba, Haiti, and Africa to enter Mexico. The municipalities of Tapachula and Tuxtla Gutierrez will be used as temporary processing hubs for migrants to sort their immigration status.
Mexico has 53 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, two of which have been in Chiapas. Doctors cured one of the patients. However, medical professionals have expressed concerns that many hospitals do not have enough staff and resources to address large numbers of ill patients.
Other Latin American countries have taken similar border control measures. Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, Paraguay, and Argentina have prohibited the entry of migrants harboring the coronavirus or only grant entry of their citizens.