March 17, 2020 / 7:57 PM / 15 days ago

Mexico's Supreme Court, federal courts to pause work over coronavirus

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s Supreme Court said in a statement on Tuesday it will suspend its regular court activities from March 18 to April 19 to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The country’s other federal courts followed suit with a similar preventative announcement later on Tuesday, suspending activities over the same time period “with the aim of avoiding the concentration of people,” the courts said in a separate statement.

During the suspension exceptions will only be made for on-call court activities described as urgent, including certain criminal procedures involving detained individuals, the statement said.

Legal processes with fixed time-frames will be frozen in place and on-call court workers who are deemed vulnerable, such as persons over age 60, pregnant women or individuals with certain diseases including diabetes will not be required to show up physically for work.

In contrast to much of Latin America, Mexico’s executive branch has taken a more hands-off approach to tackling coronavirus, keeping borders open and arguing that creating undue panic runs the risk of overloading health services.

On Monday, confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country stood at 82, up from 53 a day earlier.

Reporting by Raul Cortes and Adriana Barrera; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel

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