New coronavirus case numbers broke the record for the third day in a row Friday.
Health officials said last night that 14,362 new cases were registered, bringing the accumulated total to 1,507,931 since the pandemic began early this year.
It was also the fourth consecutive day on which Covid-19 deaths exceeded 1,000. There were 1,038 fatalities registered, bringing that total to 132,069.
Rising case numbers continue to put pressure on hospitals in Mexico City, where the virus has hit harder than any other region of the country.
As of Friday, 89% of general hospital beds and 84% of those with ventilators were occupied, while figures for México state were only slightly lower.
But healthcare workers say those figures are deceptive, according to a report by Reuters.
“The whole system is completely saturated. There’s no room in the public or private hospitals now,” said paramedic Daniel Reyes, decked from head to toe in protective gear, including eye goggles and a thick face mask.
He said ambulances are forced to spend hours driving around looking for a hospital bed.
Sometimes, after fruitlessly searching for a hospital with room, there is no other option but to take the patient home.
Then the problem turns to locating oxygen, for which heavy demand has pushed up prices and stretched supplies.
Meanwhile, Puebla has announced it will extend an alert that was to conclude January 12 in a bid to avoid what the governor called “the collapse of the healthcare system.”
Miguel Barbosa told a press conference Friday that the maximum alert will continue until January 25, prohibiting the opening of nonessential businesses.
Industrial activity considered essential must not operate at more than 30% capacity, and an increased police presence in the streets will enforce compliance with the restrictive measures.
The state is painted medium-risk yellow on the coronavirus stoplight map, although Puebla city and its metropolitan area is currently designated maximum-risk red.
If hospitalizations continue at the current rate, the system will be saturated by January 18, said Health Minister José Antonio Martínez.
Hospital occupancy in the state on Friday was just 10 patients shy of the peak reached in July, when 1,018 beds were occupied.
Mexico News Daily