As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus exceeds the 20,000 mark, Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) hospitals will provide treatment to uninsured residents of Mexico City, one of the epicenters for the virus.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum hopes the measure will ease the burden on other hospitals in the city.
As of Friday, those hospitals were collectively operating at 68% of their capacity, but some are overwhelmed and have had to turn patients away.
Symptomatic patients need only make a call to Locatel, Sheinbaum explained, where they will be assessed by medical personnel and directed to the appropriate IMSS hospital if deemed necessary.
The move comes on the heels of yesterday’s announcement by the Ministry of Health that 1,515 new cases of the coronavirus had been confirmed in a single day for a total of 20,733. Mexico City had the most, with 5,548, followed by the state of México (3,422), Baja California (1,569) and Tabasco (1,066).
Most of the Mexico City cases are in Iztapalapa and Gustavo A. Madero. Yesterday saw a 7.9% increase in confirmed cases in the nation’s capital.
However, some parts of the country have a brighter outlook. Cancún, Quintana Roo, is close to emerging from the pandemic, said Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell on Friday, and is seeing a drop in the number of confirmed cases.
While there is “light at the end of the tunnel,” López-Gatell said, the change in no way means that social distancing guidelines should be abandoned.
Covid-19 deaths across the country now total 1,972, up from 1,859 on Thursday.
An interactive map giving details by state can be found here.