Monday, June 24, 2024

Coronavirus cases continue to increase but testing rates remain low

The federal Health Ministry reported more than 1,000 new Covid-19 cases and 117 deaths on Monday as Mexico enters its third week of phase three of the coronavirus pandemic.

Director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomía said that 1,434 new cases had been detected in the previous 24 hours, taking Mexico’s accumulated total to 24,905.

He told reporters at the nightly coronavirus press briefing that the 117 new coronavirus-related deaths increased the death toll to 2,271. An additional 190 fatalities are suspected to have been caused by Covid-19 but have not yet been confirmed, Alomía said.

The health official also said that there are 13,143 suspected coronavirus cases across the country and that 100,041 people have now been tested.

Testing rates remain low in Mexico compared to many other countries – less than 800 people per 1 million inhabitants have been tested to date – meaning that many Covid-19 cases, especially mild or asymptomatic ones, inevitably go undetected.

New cases as of Monday evening.
New cases as of Monday evening. milenio

Health Ministry data shows that the number of tests conducted on a daily basis has fluctuated during the most critical phase of the coronavirus outbreak in Mexico even as the World Health Organization urges countries to test as widely as possible.

Just over 5,900 people were tested on April 28, more than on any other day since Covid-19 was first detected in Mexico at the end of February, but only 2,603 people were tested last Saturday. The number of tests performed on Sunday dropped even lower to 2,048 before spiking to 4,202 on Monday.

The number of tests carried out on a daily basis across all of Mexico is much lower than in some individual cities in the United States, such as Los Angeles, where about 10,000 people are now being tested every day.

The newspaper Reforma reported that even health workers with coronavirus-like symptoms have found it difficult to get tested for Covid-19.

While testing has not ramped up during phase three, the number of confirmed cases and deaths has increased significantly since the commencement of the most critical stage of the pandemic.

When Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell declared the start of phase three two weeks ago, there were 8,772 confirmed cases and 712 deaths. Since then, cases have increased 184% to 24,905 and deaths have risen 219% to 2,271.

The coronavirus death toll as of Monday.
The coronavirus death toll as of Monday. milenio

Of the confirmed cases, 6,696 are considered active, Alomía said, meaning that that number of people tested positive after developing Covid-19 symptoms in the past 14 days. However, the number of new cases the Health Ministry reported in the past two weeks – 16,133 – is considerably higher.

Mexico City continues to lead the country in terms of both accumulated and active cases, with 6,785 of the former and 1,801 of the latter. México state ranks second in both categories, with 4,201 and 1,031 cases, respectively.

Baja California is third for accumulated cases with 1,808. More than half of those cases were detected in Tijuana, which ranks second behind Iztapalapa, Mexico City, for accumulated cases among Mexico’s more than 2,000 municipalities.

Tabasco has the third largest active outbreak in the country with 325 cases. Veracruz has seen its case numbers increase sharply over the past week, with 423 new cases reported, taking the total in the Gulf coast state to 803.

Colima is the least affected state with just 30 accumulated Covid-19 cases, of which only six are considered active. The small Pacific coast state has recorded four coronavirus-related deaths, fewer than any other state.

At the other end of the scale is Mexico City, where 499 people have now lost their lives to the infectious disease. Baja California has the second highest death toll with 251 fatalities followed by México state with 208.

At the municipal level, Tijuana has recorded the highest number of deaths with 185 followed by Culiacán, Sinaloa, and Gustavo A. Madero, Mexico City, where 124 and 94 people, respectively, have passed away after testing positive for Covid-19.

Mexico’s fatality rate is now 9.1 per 100 confirmed Covid-19 cases, over two points higher than the global rate of 7. Among those who have lost their lives to the disease here are five pregnant women and 15 people aged below 25.

Source: Milenio (sp), Reforma (sp) 

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