Chihuahua to set up “sanitary fence” to slow spread of coronavirus

MEXICO — As Mexico ramps up its response to the coronavirus, including by limiting nonessential travel across the U.S.-Mexico border, one Mexican state is going even further.

Chihuahua State, which borders West Texas, has set up 14 checkpoints to screen people for coronavirus, including at ports of entry into the United States. One of them is at the port in Presidio-Ojinaga.

The news came out in a press release Friday, which was posted to the Chihuahua State government website.

In the release, Javier Corral Jurado, governor of Chihuahua, said the state is setting up 14 “care and support modules” to review people who are entering through the ports of entry.

The checkpoints are one approach Chihuahua is taking to slow the spread of coronavirus and mitigate its impacts, Corral said. A hospital in Delicias near Chihuahua City is also being converted into a “specialized unit” focused on coronavirus.

Health officials in Chihuahua are also coordinating with their counterparts elsewhere in the country, including in the states of Sonora, Coahuila and Nuevo León, according to the news release. All four states border the United States, which now has the world’s highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases.

Some details on the checkpoints are still unclear. Mexican customs officials could not be reached for comment, and the Mexican consulate in Presidio did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Border officials in the United States said they are aware of the checkpoints but could not provide specifics, instead referring questions to their counterparts in Mexico.