Coronavirus
A health worker applies a Covid-19 test in Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City. A health worker applies a Covid-19 test in Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City.

Coronavirus cases set to reach half a million; still no decline in curve

The winter flu season will likely put a strain on an already overtaxed system

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Six months after the Covid-19 pandemic began, Mexico has not yet managed to reduce infections and the number of cases is creeping toward half a million: as of Wednesday there were 498,380.

Specialists from the National Autonomous University (UNAM) say that although there have been advances and achievements in the fight against the coronavirus, there are factors that will make emergency health care increasingly complicated from now on.

Since social distancing restrictions were lifted in most of the country in June, cases and deaths have continued to increase. “The emergency services have not yet been saturated, but a significant number of deaths have also occurred outside of hospitals, as various research studies have shown,” UNAM public health expert Carlos Magis Rodríguez said, noting that if those patients had also been hospitalized the system would be overwhelmed. 

“At this time we have not yet seen the decline of the curve in any of the states, like those seen in other countries,” he said, noting that there is a shortage of health care workers to attend to the patients who are already ill, let alone a surge in new cases when flu season begins in October.

During his daily briefing yesterday, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell acknowledged that the winter flu season will likely put a strain on an already overtaxed system. “This would represent a significant challenge for the health system since there would be two similar respiratory diseases that could lead to a number of people being hospitalized. The challenge is greater with two diseases,” he said.

The daily tally of coronavirus cases and deaths.
The daily tally of coronavirus cases and deaths. Deaths are numbers reported and not necessarily those that occurred each day. milenio

The Ministry of Health reported 737 new deaths from Covid-19 yesterday, bringing the total number of deaths to 54,666. Sixty-five percent were men, and the average age of the victims was 63.

There were 5,858 new cases reported in the previous 24 hours.

In Mexico, 42,530 people have active cases of the coronavirus, meaning they have experienced symptoms within the last 14 days, a number that represents 8% of total cases. So far, 336,635 patients have recovered, and hospitals across Mexico have an average of 41% occupancy.

Among states with more than 1,000 active cases, Mexico City is in the lead followed by Guanajuato, México state, Nuevo León, Coahuila, Jalisco, Puebla, Tabasco, Yucatán, Veracruz and San Luis Potosí. Together, these states make up 65.6% of the nation’s active cases.

Campeche, Chiapas and Chihuahua all have fewer than 170 cases each. 

Source: La Jornada (sp), Reforma (sp), Infobae (sp)

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