The arrival of the flu season in October could make the fight against Covid-19 even more challenging, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said on Sunday.
Speaking at the Health Ministry’s nightly coronavirus press briefing, López-Gatell said that the number of serious Covid-19 cases could increase by 15% during the flu season, a period which could coincide with a second wave of infections.
“When the flu season begins in October 2020, there is a possibility that we’ll have a return of Covid-19 with greater intensity,” he said.
López-Gatell said that new restrictions might need to be put in place to contain a second wave of Covid-19 infections that will inevitably occur when current containment measures are eased. However, the restrictions would apply where outbreaks occur and not at a national level, he said.
The deputy minister said that it would be difficult to reimpose restrictions nationally given the negative impact they have on the economy and society.
The federal government ordered the suspension of all nonessential economic activities at the end of March, a move that brought many lucrative sectors, such as automotive and beer, to a halt. The Mexican economy is forecast to suffer a deep recession in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus crisis, with many analysts and financial institutions predicting contractions in the range of 5% to 10%.
Given the likelihood of a second wave of Covid-19 infections, the government is considering the possibility of maintaining the modifications made by public hospitals to increase their capacity to receive coronavirus patients, López-Gatell said.
He also said that the government will continue to bring medical supplies, including personal protective equipment, into the country from China to ensure that hospitals are equipped to respond to the ongoing pandemic.
“We don’t have money left over but we don’t lack money either,” he said.
Earlier in the press briefing, López-Gatell said that the total number of people confirmed to have Covid-19 had risen to 35,022 and coronavirus-related deaths had increased to 3,465.
A total of 3,500 new cases were added to Mexico’s tally over the weekend, while 305 additional fatalities were reported – 193 on Saturday and 112 on Sunday.
López-Gatell said that there are 19,979 suspected cases across the country and that 130,956 people have now been tested. Of the more than 35,000 confirmed accumulated cases, 8,457 are considered active, he said.
Mexico City leads the country for both accumulated and active cases, with 9,737 of the former and 2,243 of the latter. México state ranks second in both categories.
All but eight of Mexico’s 32 states have more than 100 active Covid-19 cases, official data shows. After Mexico City and México state, Tabasco, Baja California, Morelos, Veracruz and Yucatán have the largest current outbreaks.
The number of active cases has grown considerably in Morelos and Yucatán in recent days while there are signs that outbreaks in Baja California and Quintana Roo are being controlled.
Colima remains the least affected state in the country, according to Health Ministry data, with just 44 accumulated cases of Covid-19 and 15 active ones.
Mexico City also has the highest coronavirus death toll in the country with 796 confirmed fatalities as of Sunday. Baja California has recorded the second highest number of fatalities, with 416, followed by México state (340); Tabasco (220); Sinaloa (213); and Quintana Roo (183).
At the municipal level, Tijuana has the highest death toll in the country followed by Gustavo A. Madero, Mexico City, and Benito Juárez (Cancún), Quintana Roo.
In addition to the 3,465 confirmed Covid-19 deaths across Mexico, 247 fatalities are suspected to have been caused by the infectious disease, López-Gatell said.
Based on confirmed cases and deaths, Mexico’s fatality rate is 9.9 per 1o0 cases, three points higher than the global rate of 6.9.
Source: Milenio (sp)