New coronavirus outbreaks have occurred in Guerrero and Oaxaca in recent weeks, a federal health official said Thursday as Mexico passed Chile to rank seventh in the world for total cases.
Speaking at the Health Ministry’s nightly coronavirus press briefing, Director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomía said that case numbers stabilized in Guerrero between epidemiological weeks 22 and 25, a period that ran from May 24 to June 20.
However, the numbers began to increase again in weeks 26 and 27, or between June 21 and July 4, he said, explaining that there was a 7% spike in new infections.
Alomía said that Covid-19 deaths in Guerrero began trending downwards in epidemiological week 23 and, despite the uptick in cases, declined by 55% in weeks 26 and 27.
(Mexico is currently in week 29 but data for the two most recent weeks is not considered useful for epidemiological purposes because it may be incomplete and subject to change.)
Alomía said that Acapulco was the first municipality in Guerrero to record a significant coronavirus outbreak but case numbers trended downwards between weeks 22 and 24.
“However, we see that they increase again from week 25 to 26. … This new peak exceeds the previous peak, … which represents a new outbreak for the municipality of Acapulco,” he said.
The popular tourist destination has recorded 4,739 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic, a figure which represents 56% of the 8,432 cases reported in the state.
Alomía said that Oaxaca has seen a similar phenomenon: case numbers trended downwards between weeks 24 and 26 before increasing again from the beginning of week 27.
Case numbers recently reached a higher level in Oaxaca than the previous peak, he said. Covid-19 deaths in the southern state are estimated to have increased by 11% in weeks 26 and 27, Alomía added.
In the municipality of Oaxaca, home to the state capital, case numbers peaked in week 23 before declining significantly in the following two weeks. However, the downward trend didn’t continue in weeks 26 and 27 and there is a risk that cases will spike again in Oaxaca city, Alomía said.
The state of Oaxaca has recorded 8,151 confirmed coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic and 792 deaths.
Alomía also reported Thursday that Mexico’s accumulated case tally had increased to 321,041 with 6,406 new cases registered. Just under 9% of those cases – 28,786 – are currently active.
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Mexico now ranks seventh for total cases, passing Chile’s tally on Thursday.
With more than 3.5 million confirmed cases, the United States ranks first followed by Brazil, India, Russia, Peru and South Africa.
Alomía also reported that Mexico’s Covid-19 death toll had increased to 37,574 with 668 additional fatalities. Mexico still ranks fourth for total deaths behind the United States, Brazil and the United Kingdom.
Mexico City’s official death toll passed 8,000 on Thursday and now stands at 8,008. México state has the second highest Covid-19 death toll, with more than 5,500 fatalities, while more than 2,000 people have succumbed to the infectious disease in both Baja California and Veracruz.
Alomía said that 46% of general care hospital beds set aside for coronavirus patients are currently occupied while 28% of those with ventilators are in use.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said that a new “stoplight” map, used to indicate the risk of coronavirus infection in Mexico’s 32 states, will be presented Friday after state government data inconsistencies prevented an update last week.
Fifteen states are currently classified as “red light” maximum risk while the other 17 are “orange light” high risk.
López-Gatell said Thursday that the data inconsistencies detected last week only applied to “very few” states and asserted that there was no malicious intent on the part of state governments.
“It was a technical issue, it wasn’t due to deceit or negligence, we didn’t identify any malice. … The state governments have shown their willingness for dialogue and they exercise responsibility to protect the health of their populations.”