Mexico keeps its borders open during coronavirus epidemics

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Hugo Lopez-Gatel, who led Mexico’s coronavirus response, knows the cost of the travel ban himself. One Saturday afternoon in 2009, he received a question from the Pan American Health Organization about a news report of an unusual flu outbreak in the state of Veracruz. Lopez-Gatel, then chief epidemiologist at the Mexican Ministry of Health, collected all available data and returned the report the next evening. This is the beginning of the H1N1 flu pandemic. Mexico was “absolutely, proudly, bindingly transparent,” he recalled.

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