Friday, June 14, 2024

Academics predict coronavirus crisis to peak at 151,000 cases in mid-August

Coronavirus cases will peak in Mexico in the middle of August at more than 151,000 but the epidemic curve will start to fall in the middle of May, according to two researchers at Mexico City’s Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM).

Roberto Gutiérrez Rodríguez, head of the economics school at the UAM Iztapalapa campus, and Marco Antonio Pérez, a doctor in social sciences, predict that Covid-19 cases will peak at 151,774 in approximately four months from now.

“If health conditions and the international environment allow it,” there will be no new infections “after that point,” the researchers said in a statement issued Monday that cites data from their essay entitled Modeling the Spread of Covid-19 in Mexico.

Gutiérrez and Pérez predict that the epidemic curve will continue to rise until the middle of May at which time they anticipate there will be 55,836 Covid-19 cases in the country, a figure more than 50,000 higher than the 5,014 confirmed cases reported by the federal Health Ministry on Monday.

They said that the nation’s health system will need to be well-prepared to respond to the high number of cases in the middle of May because, according to their modeling, more people will be sick at the same time then than at any other stage of the pandemic.


The number of cases reported on a daily basis will start to decline in the second half of May, the researchers predict, a phenomenon that would allow the process of flattening the curve to begin.

Their mathematical modeling was based on public and private hospital data as well as the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases announced by the Health Ministry last Wednesday.

While the ministry reported that there were 3,181 confirmed cases that day, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said that data collected via a “proven, scientifically founded” epidemiological surveillance system suggested that the real number of cases in Mexico was more than 26,000.

The researchers said that they didn’t use the higher number for their modeling because doing so would imply changes to a range of other instructive data about the coronavirus pandemic in Mexico. The fatality rate, for example, would decrease from 5.47 per 100 cases (based on April 8 numbers) to 0.66, they said.

Gutiérrez and Pérez also offered a worst-case scenario for the coronavirus outbreak in Mexico, stating that as many as 6.3 million people could conceivably be infected with Covid-19 and 189,00 could die.

The academics said that their information “is important to determine the pace of growth of Covid-19 in society” but they acknowledged that the situation is fluid and therefore making predictions is difficult, “especially in the medium and long term.”

The “discipline of society” in terms of respecting social distancing recommendations and maintaining good hand hygiene, among other factors, will have an impact on the pace of growth of new Covid-19 infections, they said.

Given that “the infection rate is not constant or linear,” the academics said that they would update their predictions on a weekly basis.

Three week ago, when there were just 405 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Mexico, López-Gatell said that authorities expected a “long epidemic that could extend until September or October.”

A group of specialists in emergency medicine predicted last week that as many as 10,500 cases of Covid-19 in Mexico will be serious and could require treatment in intensive care while the Pan American Health Organization said in March that there could be as many as 700,000 serious, potentially fatal cases of the disease.

Source: Notimex (sp), Infobae (sp) 

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