Mitigation measures failed to keep the basic reproduction number for coronavirus below 1 in 15 states between the end of May and the end of June, a situation that allowed local epidemics to grow.
Data presented by health officials at Monday night’s coronavirus press briefing showed that the reproduction number (the number of people each infected person infects) was above 1 between May 28 and June 26 in Baja California Sur, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatán and Zacatecas.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell noted that in states where there is a reproduction number of 1, or R1, the size of the local coronavirus epidemic will remain unchanged.
“The epidemic will continue, it won’t end but it won’t increase either,” he said.
If the reproduction number is above 1, the size of the epidemic will grow and if it is below 1 it will decrease, López-Gatell said.
The deputy minister stressed that a reproduction number below 1 is needed in order to “begin to control the epidemic,” adding that the purpose of presenting the data for each of Mexico’s 32 states was not to scold state governments for their management of the coronavirus crisis nor apportion blame to them.
“What we’re presenting here is not a reprimand in any way, … it’s a technical reality. Achieving control [of the pandemic] is a huge challenge for society and for governments,” López-Gatell said.
He also said that it’s likely that Covid-19 will remain a threat for two or three years.
“We’re talking about two or three years in which [the virus] will return again and again in small, medium-sized or large outbreaks. It’s important to be aware that prevention doesn’t just depend on general instructions from the government nor on a prohibition on occupying public spaces or carrying out activities,” López-Gatell said.
It is “very advisable” that people make changes to their everyday lives in order to mitigate the risk of contracting coronavirus, he added.
Across Mexico, the number of people confirmed to have been infected since the beginning of the pandemic exceeded 300,000 on Monday.
Health officials made no mention of the accumulated case tally nor the Covid-19 death toll at last night’s press conference but data published on the federal government’s coronavirus website showed that the number of confirmed cases in Mexico had risen to 304,435 with 4,685 additional cases registered.
An additional 485 Covid-19 fatalities were also registered, lifting Mexico’s death toll to 35,491.
Of the confirmed cases, 28,843 are considered active, meaning that many people tested positive after developing coronavirus symptoms in the past 14 days.
The number of active cases has increased by 28.8% over the past month, peaking at more than 30,000 last Saturday before declining slightly on both Sunday and Monday.
There are also 76,824 suspected coronavirus cases across the country, meaning that the results of that number of tests are not yet known.
Mexico City continues to lead the country for accumulated and active coronavirus cases even though the reproduction number in the capital dropped below 1 in June. It has recorded 58,114 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic, of which 4,195 are currently active.
The capital also has the highest Covid-19 death toll in the country, with 7,722 confirmed fatalities as of Monday.
Source: El Universal (sp)