A day after Mexico recorded its largest single day increase in the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19, President López Obrador described the coronavirus crisis as a “fleeting situation” that the country will overcome soon.
“I want to provide confidence and certainty to the people of Mexico that this is a fleeting situation … a temporary public health and economic crisis. A temporary crisis – that means that we’ll overcome it soon,” López Obrador told reporters at his regular news conference on Thursday morning.
Declaring that the situation is not a disaster, the president asserted that the strength and culture of the Mexican people will allow them to “confront this adversity.”
“The people of Mexico are extraordinary. I want to thank the people a lot … because they’re complying with the [social distancing] measures that were established to avoid more infections. The people are behaving 100% [as they should], they’re showing that the people of Mexico are sensible, not irresponsible,” he said.
López Obrador’s remarks followed the Health Ministry’s announcement on Wednesday night that 163 new Covid-19 cases had been detected, taking the country’s total to 1,378. Director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomia also told a press conference that the coronavirus-related death toll had risen by eight to 37.
He said that there are 3,827 suspected cases of Covid-19 and that 7,073 people had tested negative for the disease. The total number of people that have been tested increased by 1,270 to 12,278.
Mexico City has the highest number of cases in the country, with 296, followed by México state with 157. There are 99 confirmed cases in Jalisco, 97 in Puebla, 78 in Nuevo León and 57 in Coahuila. With just three confirmed coronavirus cases, the small Pacific coast state of Colima is the least affected in the country.
Mexico City has also recorded the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths, with eight, while Sinaloa has seen four and three Covid-19 patients have died in each of Jalisco and Hidalgo.
Nineteen of Mexico’s 32 federal entities have now recorded at least one coronavirus-related death. Hypertension, diabetes, obesity and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have been the four most common existing diseases suffered by those who have died.
Of the 1,378 people confirmed to have Covid-19, 58% are men and 42% are women. Of the 37 deaths, 32 have been of men and just five of women.
As the number of coronavirus cases rises, the pressure on Mexico’s healthcare system will only increase but López Obrador stressed Thursday that the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for an influx of Covid-19 patients.
“We are dedicated to that full time, it’s the priority of the government … We’re preparing so that we won’t lack beds or ventilators and we can attend to the serious cases,” he said.
López Obrador on Wednesday reiterated that the government’s coronavirus response strategy – criticized by some experts for failing to carry out widespread Covid-19 testing – is developed and managed by medical and scientific experts.
He called on state governors and all other authorities to “align” their response to Covid-19 with the federal strategy.
“My recommendation continues to be the same: we all have to align, respect the recommendations of the specialists, the scientists. It’s not time for bright ideas, this is a very serious matter,” López Obrador said.
He appealed to his political opponents earlier this week for a month-long “truce” as the country faces a dual health and economic crisis caused by the growing outbreak of Covid-19 and the emergency measures put in place to contain it.
“The conservatives have wanted to encourage division, polarize [people] … I call for unity, I even call for unity from my adversaries, from the conservatives. The homeland comes first, they should dial [their attacks on the government] down a notch.”