TIJUANA (Border Report) — There are an estimated 1,000 maquiladoras in the Mexican state of Baja California — mostly in Tijuana and Mexicali — but only 350 had been allowed to continue operating through the COVID-19 crisis.

In recent days, some of the maquiladoras that were forced to close after being declared non-essential, have rebooted operations without permission, according to Baja California lawmakers.

One state official admitted they have no way of knowing for certain who is involved.

“We have no way of knowing who is working and who is not,” said Mario Escobedo, secretary of sustainable economy and tourism in Baja California.

“Personnel needed to conduct inspections just isn’t there, it’s impossible to check on these factories on a daily basis,” he said.

Escobedo urged companies that have decided to open up to at least follow prevention efforts to keep up to 40,000 employees from getting the virus.

“I urged those factories must have sanitary conditions and implement proper hygiene so that it’s better for employees to be at work than on the street,” said Escobedo.

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