Wednesday was the worst day of the entire coronavirus pandemic in Mexico in terms of both new cases and deaths reported by federal health authorities.
The Health Ministry reported a single-day record of 13,345 new cases, pushing the accumulated tally to just under 1.48 million. Covid-19 fatalities also hit a new daily high of 1,165, lifting the official death toll to 129,987.
It was the third time in the space of eight days that the Health Ministry registered more than 1,000 additional fatalities on a single day.
There are currently 76,101 active cases across the country, according to Health Ministry estimates.
Data shows that 55% of general care beds across Mexico are occupied by coronavirus patients, while six states have an occupancy rate above 70%. They are Mexico City, 88%; México state, 83%; Guanajuato, 80%; Nuevo León, 79%; Hidalgo, 77%; and Baja California, 74%.
Nationwide occupancy of beds with ventilators is 46%. In Mexico City, 83% of such beds are taken, while México state has the second highest occupancy rate at 79%.
Of 952 healthcare facilities treating coronavirus patients across Mexico, about 200 are completely full in at least one of three areas: general care beds, beds with ventilators or intensive care beds.
In Mexico City, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, 30 hospitals are at 100% capacity for general care beds, 20 have reached a 100% rate for beds with ventilators and 19 are at that level in their intensive care units.
Of the 200 hospitals that have reached maximum capacity in at least one of the categories, 111 are located in just four states, the newspaper Milenio reported. They are Mexico City, México state, Hidalgo and Guanajuato.
Meanwhile, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has called on Mexico to increase spending on healthcare, contending that a budget equivalent to less than 3% of GDP will be insufficient to respond to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 even as Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out.
PAHO representative Cristian Morales Fuhrimann acknowledged that the Mexican government is making efforts to increase the efficiency of the health system and stamp out corruption but urged that more money also needs to be injected into public health.
Healthcare expenditure of less than 3% of GDP – the government’s 2020 outlay was equivalent to 2.5% – won’t be enough to respond to the challenges the country faces, he told a press conference.
Those challenges, Morales said, include the coronavirus pandemic, progressing toward universal health care and establishing a more resilient health system capable of responding to future pandemics and health problems people face every day such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, dengue and HIV.
Mexico has historically spent about 3% of GDP on healthcare, putting it near the bottom of the list in Latin America, where Cuba led with 11.7% followed by Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina with 9% each, according to 2017 data.
President López Obrador vowed a year ago that by 2021 Mexico’s healthcare system will be comparable to those of Canada, Denmark and the United Kingdom.
All three countries spent 10% in 2018.
Source: Milenio (sp)