The number of coronavirus patients in Mexico City hospitals increased 12.6% over the past month, meaning tighter restrictions are coming.
As of Thursday, there were 2,910 hospitalized coronavirus patients in the capital, 325 more than on October 5. The number of intubated patients increased 13.8% in the same period from 664 to 756.
A total of 5,852 hospital beds have been set aside in Mexico City for seriously and gravely ill coronavirus patients. Just under 50% of them are currently occupied.
Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said Friday there were 3,872 hospitalized coronavirus patients in the greater Mexico City metropolitan area, which includes several México state municipalities. She said that hospitalizations have been on the rise for the past three weeks.
Despite the uptick, Mexico City will remain at the orange light high risk level on the federal government’s coronavirus stoplight system for another week, Sheinbaum told a virtual press conference.
The capital has remained at the orange light risk level since late June, although authorities have gradually eased restrictions over the past four months.
However, Sheinbaum announced slightly stricter restrictions today.
She said that restaurants, gyms and casinos will be required to close one hour earlier for the next two weeks and that events will be limited to a maximum of 10 people in enclosed areas and 25 in open air spaces.
The normal operation of nightclubs, cantinas and bars remains “strictly prohibited,” Sheinbaum said.
However, cantinas and bars will be permitted to continue operating as long as they serve food with drinks and offer table service to customers.
Sheinbaum also provided an update on her own coronavirus infection, saying that she had mild symptoms in recent days but felt better. She said she would get tested again on Saturday.
The mayor is one of 166,121 people who have tested positive for the coronavirus in Mexico City since the start of the pandemic, a figure that accounts for 17.5% of all cases detected across the country. The national tally currently stands at 949,197 with 5,567 new cases reported on Thursday.
The capital’s official Covid-19 death toll is 15,450, or 16.5% of the national toll, which rose to 93,772 on Thursday with 544 additional fatalities registered.
The metropolitan area of Mexico City, which includes the most populous parts of México state, has been the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak since the start of the pandemic. México state, which adjoins the capital to its east, north and west, ranks second among the country’s 32 states for both confirmed coronavirus cases and Covid-19 deaths.
With case numbers and hospitalizations spiking, the Mexico City government launched a new information campaign this week to warn residents of the ongoing coronavirus threat and the risk that the capital could regress to the red light maximum risk level on the stoplight system.
Sheinbaum said that advertisements featuring the slogan “Let’s not drop our guard” are being put up all over the city.
“[The campaign] is already beginning in the entire city. … [The advertisements] say: ‘Watch out, we don’t want to go to the red light [risk level], let’s not drop our guard,’” she said. “It’s so people continue to look after themselves and protect others.”
The federal Health Ministry will present a new stoplight map at Friday night’s coronavirus press briefing. Any changes will take effect on Monday.