Mexico City is close to regressing to “maximum” risk red on the federal government coronavirus stoplight system due to a further increase in hospitalizations, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said Thursday.
The mayor told a virtual press conference that she will outline tighter coronavirus restrictions on Friday, although she said that an immediate switch to red is not in the cards.
Asked whether Mexico City is edging closer to red light status, Sheinbaum responded that it was, explaining that a recent increase in the hospitalization of coronavirus patients is concerning.
She said that the number of new patients hospitalized on a daily basis had increased from 20 to 100 over the past five days. It’s important for citizens to know about the upward trend, the mayor added.
“It’s difficult to know if it’s due to a [specific] factor, the important thing is to take steps so that [hospitalizations] don’t continue increasing. Tomorrow we’ll announce those steps,” Sheinbaum said.
Mexico City has remained at the orange light “high risk” level since late June but authorities in the capital nevertheless gradually eased restrictions until last week when Sheinbaum announced slightly tighter rules including shorter operating hours for some businesses.
The mayor said today that as of Wednesday there were 3,161 coronavirus patients in Mexico City hospitals including 803 on ventilators. In the greater Mexico City metropolitan area, which includes many México state municipalities, there were 4,232 hospitalized patients, she said.
“The majority are people older than 55, especially 60 [and older],” Sheinbaum said, adding that many have pre-existing health conditions that make them vulnerable to serious illness.
Mexico City has recorded more than 170,000 confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic and almost 16,000 Covid-19 deaths, according to official data. Health authorities reported more than 1,700 new cases and 118 Covid-19 deaths in the capital on Wednesday.
The nationwide single-day tally of 7,646 on Wednesday was the highest since August 1 and the fifth highest of the pandemic.
Before that figure was reported, federal Health Minister Jorge Alcocer asserted that the pandemic is under control in all 32 states, contradicting several state governments, including those of Jalisco, Nuevo León and Chihuahua, that have acknowledged that the situation is worsening and taken steps to address it.
Alcocer’s remark is also at odds with data that shows that October was the second worst month of the pandemic for new cases, with almost 182,000 reported.
But the health minister told President López Obrador’s morning press conference that cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all trending down, asserting “we’re on the way down – the indicators support this good path.”