The coronavirus case tally for November exceeded that of October on Sunday, making this month the second worst for new cases since the start of the pandemic.
The Health Ministry reported 6,388 new cases on Sunday, pushing the accumulated number to 1,107,071.
The ministry registered 182,109 new cases in the first 29 days of November, 363 more than the number reported during the entire month of October. A new single-day case record was set three times last week, although the daily tally doesn’t necessarily reflect cases detected in the previous 24 hours.
The average daily tally reported this month is 6,280 – 7% higher than the October average. The only month in which more new coronavirus cases were reported was July with 198,548, or 6,404 per day.
After the July peak, new case numbers declined 12% in August to 174,923 and decreased again in September, falling 18% to 143,656. However, they increased 26.5% in October to 181,746.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s official Covid-19 death toll rose to 105,655 on Sunday with 196 additional fatalities reported. In the first 29 days of this month, the Health Ministry registered 13,902 fatalities for an average of 479 per day.
July was also the worst month for Covid-19 fatalities with health authorities reporting 18,919, or an average of 610 per day.
Reported deaths declined 6% in August to 17,726 and fell an additional 25% in September to 13,232. However, they rose 7% in October to 14,107.
This month’s death toll will in all likelihood pass the October total when the Health Ministry reports the latest coronavirus data on Monday night. If that occurs, November will become the fourth deadliest month of the pandemic after July, June and August.
The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington is currently projecting that Mexico’s official Covid-19 death toll will rise to just over 120,000 by the end of the year and almost 144,000 by March 1, 2021.
With universal face mask usage, there would be about 8,500 fewer deaths by March 1, according to IHME projections.
The federal government has been a reluctant advocate for face masks, triggering criticism from numerous health experts and former health ministers.
“The government should make it clear that the use of face masks does help to reduce the spread of the virus,” said Alejandro Macías, an infectious disease doctor, a member of the National Autonomous University’s coronavirus commission and the federal government’s point man during the swine flu pandemic in 2009.
However, President López Obrador and Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell last month ruled out any possibility that the federal government will enforce the use of face masks, virtually ensuring that universal usage, or anything close to it, will remain a pipe dream.
The November increase in numbers brought a warning Monday from the World Health Organization, whose director-general said Mexico was “in a bad situation.”
When both cases and deaths increase, it’s “a very serious problem,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who urged Mexico to take the situation seriously.
However, he based his warning on information that was at odds with official figures, claiming that both new cases and deaths had doubled over the course of three weeks.
While the numbers for some days did indeed double in the second half of the month, overall case numbers were up 23% and deaths by 9% compared to the first half of the month.
But with winter approaching, case numbers rising again, hospitals in some states already filling up with coronavirus patients and the federal government ruling out any possibility of enforcing a strict lockdown, it appears inevitable that Mexico will see high numbers of Covid-19 deaths in the coming weeks and months, deepening the significant pain the pandemic has already inflicted on the nation.
Indeed, the real number of Covid-19 deaths is likely already considerably higher than the totals the IHME projects Mexico will reach by the end of the year and next March.
The Health Ministry reported in late October that the number of deaths in Mexico between January 1 and September 26 was more that 193,000 higher than the average for the same period in recent years. More than 139,000 of the “excess deaths” by September 26 – when the official coronavirus death toll was just over 76,000 – were judged to have been caused by Covid-19.
Mexico News Daily