Mexico to begin reopening border region

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - Mexico's Ministry of Health says the country has seen the largest day-to-day increase in confirmed coronavirus cases since the outbreak began.

Despite the rising numbers, the Mexican government is planning on moving forward with a major announcement.

Thursday marked nearly 2,500 new cases, bringing its total to more than 42,000.

This grim milestone comes just a day after the government announced plans to re-open the country.

Mexico's government says it will lift a quarantine for hundreds of counties starting May 18th and will begin to gradually reopen the rest of the nation on June 1st as it seeks to emerge from the pandemic. 

Three big states along the U.S. border: Chihuahua, Coahuil, and Nuevo Leon will be among those that won't resume manufacturing and other business activities until June.

Tampaulipas, which houses our sister city of Nuevo Laredo, is expected to allow businesses to reopen, but schools will remain closed and restrictions on gathering places, including churches and parks, will continue.

Despite keeping the U.S. ports of entry closed to non-essential travelers, the Trump Administration has been urging Mexico to restart assembly plants that provide inputs critical to U.S. industries.

Mexico has been on a nationwide lockdown for more than seven weeks, and businesses are eager to reopen.

Analysts are predicting that the economy could shrink up to ten percent this year, one of the most significant recessions in Latin America.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador cautioned that Mexico was headed for a "new normality" that would require safety measures to prevent major outbreaks of disease.

Under the plan, the government would allow 269 municipalities scattered over 15 states to resume most activities on Monday.

These are places that have no known confirmed cases and whose neighboring counties also have no signs of the virus.