Health authorities say a decline in new coronavirus case numbers has been seen in Mexico City and México state since nonessential activities were suspended on December 19.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said a 13% decline in case numbers had been recorded in recent weeks but cautioned that the downward trend was not definitive. On the other hand, hospitalizations and deaths have continued to rise, he said.
He linked the drop in numbers to the designation of red light status for the capital and México state on the government’s coronavirus stoplight map.
The news is not as good in Puebla, where an increase in new case numbers has been cause for alarm.
The governor of Puebla put the state on maximum alert on Monday and announced a complete halt to nonessential activities.
Governor Miguel Barbosa said the halt will remain in effect until January 11 in order to contain the advance of the virus, for which he blamed citizens’ failure to adhere to coronavirus measures.
He said new cases and hospitalizations have increased “exponentially” and that the state was back to where it was during the peak of June and July.
In Michoacán another seven municipalities have joined the 15 that were being closely watched due to the rising number of new cases.
Governor Silvano Aureoles said Monday that of every 10 people currently being tested for Covid-19, six are positive for the virus. He warned that unless people avoid family gatherings, particularly at New Year’s, the numbers will continue to rise, requiring new restrictions on economic activities.
The state capital is of particular concern. “If the epidemic is not controlled in Morelia, that alone could mean a red light [on the coronavirus stoplight map] for the whole state.”
Nationwide, there were 5,996 new cases registered on Monday bringing the total accumulated case tally to 1.38 million. The death toll reached 122,855 yesterday with 429 new fatalities.
As case numbers rise and fall, the vaccination program is gaining momentum following the arrival of two shipments of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine.
As of Monday evening, 9,579 healthcare workers had been inoculated at Mexico City General Hospital, at military bases in Mexico City, Querétaro city and Toluca, México state, and in four municipalities in Coahuila.
An estimated 750,000 doctors, nurses and other health sector personnel will be inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine.
January will see the vaccination program extended to include senior citizens, its second priority. They will receive either the Pfizer vaccine or that of the Chinese company CanSino Biologics.