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'Sanitizing tunnels' await all travelers as they head into Mexico's Sonora state

'Sanitizing tunnels' await all travelers as they head into Mexico's Sonora state

From the May's Tucson-area coronavirus coverage: Cases rise, judge rules that state can keep nursing home data from public series

This screenshot from a video posted on Facebook by the Nogales, Sonora, city government shows a motorist being sprayed with disinfectant south of the border.

Drivers entering Nogales, Sonora, from Arizona now go through a disinfecting process to ward off the coronavirus.

After crossing through a port of entry, drivers and passenger get out of their cars and walk through inflatable tunnels that were put up on the side of the road Wednesday by the municipal government of Nogales.

Inside the “sanitizing tunnels,” as Mexican officials called them, drivers and passengers are sprayed with disinfectant. They then walk back to their cars and continue on their way.

Nogales officials posted a video on Facebook Wednesday showing a line of cars stopped by city police officers south of the Mariposa Port of Entry. The disinfecting process took less than a minute for each driver and passenger.

The spray uses Biozinc, which protects against infection for up to 24 hours, a Mexican health official told the Sonoran newspaper El Imparcial.

Many of the local cases of the coronavirus were found in Mexican citizens who had traveled to the United States and returned to Mexico, Mayor Jesus Antonio Pujol Irastorza said in the video. Officials already are doing medical inspections of pedestrian travelers coming from the United States through ports of entry, he said.

Sonora has roughly 400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including 32 in Nogales, according to statistics from the Sonoran state government. Arizona had more than 9,900 cases as of Thursday, although testing rates are higher here.

Contact reporter Curt Prendergast at 573-4224 or cprendergast@tucson.com or on Twitter

@CurtTucsonStar

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