New coronavirus case numbers declined for a third consecutive week in early August, a senior health official said Sunday.
Director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomía told the Health Ministry’s nightly coronavirus press briefing that new case numbers are estimated to have fallen 20% in epidemiological week 32 – August 2 to 8 – compared to the previous week.
The decline came after a reduction in new case numbers was recorded in each of the final two weeks of July.
Alomía noted that for the first time at the national level the number of people added to the Covid-19 “recovered” list in week 32 was higher than the number of people who tested positive during the same seven-day period.
Alomía also noted that the national Covid-19 positivity rate – the percentage of tests that come back positive – fell to 44% in week 32 from 47% the week prior.
“This means that fewer and fewer people who have an acute respiratory condition end up being confirmed as having Covid-19,” he said.
The positivity rate is still very high compared to many other countries because most testing in Mexico is of people with serious coronavirus-like symptoms.
Almost 1.2 million people have now been tested, according to Health Ministry data, of whom 522,162 were confirmed to have the infectious disease. Health authorities registered 4,448 new confirmed cases on Sunday.
Just under 29,000 cases – 5.5% of the total – are considered active while the results of more than 81,000 tests are not yet known.
Mexico’s Covid-19 death toll rose to 56,757 on Sunday with 214 additional fatalities registered. Mexico ranks third for total Covid-19 deaths after the United States and Brazil.
The mortality rate is just under 45 per 100,000 residents, according to Johns Hopkins University data, the 13th highest in the world.
Eleven weeks after the national social distancing initiative was replaced by a “stoplight” system that recommends coronavirus restrictions on a state-by-state basis, most of the country is painted orange, indicating “high” risk of infection.
The risk level is red light “maximum” in just five of 32 states while Campeche begins this week as the only yellow light “medium” risk state.
While federal health authorities reduced this week’s risk level from red to orange in 11 states, the only state to go the other way was Aguascalientes.
But the state government rejected the red light risk assessment, saying that it is managing the epidemic appropriately and that its own assessment is that the risk level should be yellow.
The government said in a statement that new case numbers have remained stable and that there is still sufficient hospital space despite occupancy increasing in recent days.
It also said that it has the necessary medical supplies to treat coronavirus patients and noted that Aguascalientes has one of the highest testing rates in the country.
The small Bajío region state has recorded 4,812 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic, the fifth lowest tally in the country, and 324 Covid-19 deaths.
Despite its red light status, Aguascalientes has just 375 active coronavirus cases, according to Health Ministry estimates.
The active case tally is the third lowest in Mexico after Morelos and Tlaxcala, where there are an estimated 303 and 349 active cases, respectively.
Source: Reforma (sp)