Mexico’s coronavirus epidemic is “at its maximum level of intensity,” Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said on Tuesday as the biggest single-day increase in case numbers pushed the country’s cumulative tally toward 100,000.
“The Covid-19 epidemic isn’t over, it’s continuing. In fact someone said that it’s at its maximum level of intensity. That was me,” he told reporters at the nightly coronavirus press briefing.
His remarks came after Health Ministry Director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomía reported that Mexico’s cumulative case tally had increased to 97,326 with 3,891 new cases registered on Tuesday.
The single-day increase is 12% higher than the previous record of 3,463 cases reported last Wednesday.
Alomía said that 16,940 cases are considered active, an increase of 637 compared to Monday. He also said that there are 42,151 suspected cases across the country and that 293,078 people have been tested for Covid-19.
Among the more than 97,000 people who have tested positive are 20,217 health workers, of whom 271 have died.
Mexico’s official coronavirus death toll increased to 10,637 with 470 additional fatalities registered on Tuesday. The number of deaths reported yesterday is the third highest after Tuesday of last week when 501 fatalities were registered.
An additional 924 deaths are suspected of having been caused by Covid-19 but haven’t yet been confirmed.
Even though the Covid-19 pandemic is still in a growth phase, federally mandated social distancing restrictions concluded on Saturday in favor of state-based restrictions.
Even though some parts of the country have been impacted by the pandemic much more than others, every state in the country except Zacatecas was allocated a “red light” last week on the federal government’s stoplight system to determine which coronavirus restrictions can be lifted and where.
The stoplight system will be updated this week and the color allocated to each state – red, orange, yellow or green – will be publicly announced on Friday before taking effect next Monday.
López-Gatell reiterated that four factors are taken into account to determine the risk level for each state: case number trends (whether new infections are increasing, decreasing or stable), hospital admission trends for coronavirus patients, hospital occupancy levels and positivity rates (the percentage of people tested who are confirmed to have Covid-19).
The stoplight color allocated to each state, at least in the early phases of the “new normal,” will be determined by its worst result in the four different areas, he said. That means that if just one of the four indicators is found to be at a “red light” level, the state will be allocated a stoplight of that color even if it has orange, yellow or green lights in all other areas.
López-Gatell said that the country is feeling its way into the “new normal” and as such must act cautiously to limit new outbreaks of Covid-19 that are seen as inevitable.