Mexico’s response to the coronavirus has received poor marks in a study by Foreign Policy magazine, which ranked it 34th out of 36 nations analyzed for their handling of the pandemic.
The magazine’s Covid-19 Global Response Index found that Mexico’s management of the pandemic is one of “the worst” due to its “weak financial response and [fragile] public health policy, including its very limited testing.”
Foreign Policy evaluated countries on public health directives, financial responses, and fact-based public communications. The magazine scored Mexico at 4.5 out of 100. New Zealand, which has reported just 1,570 confirmed cases and has a 0.45 mortality rate per 100,000 people, topped the list with a perfect score of 100. Mexico’s mortality rate is nearly 100 times greater at 42 per 100,000.
President López Obrador’s financial response to the pandemic, which included choosing not to raise public debt, mobilize emergency funds or provide significant federal aid, preferring instead to cut salaries for public servants, received a low mark from the magazine, as did his public policy directives.
Few tests have been carried out in Mexico compared to other countries, and funds dedicated exclusively to the health emergency are limited, which has helped engender conflict between federal and state governments and unequal responses in different areas of the country.
Analysts were also concerned about the high number of positive coronavirus tests, which suggests that testing is mainly performed on those who are already ill, indicating a reactive rather than proactive stance on combating the spread of the virus.
The magazine also pointed to the country’s risk of contagion from the United States, which has manifested itself in the elevated number of coronavirus cases in the border region.
The only category in which Mexico obtained an acceptable score was in its communications, which Foreign Policy found to be based on scientific data and hard facts.
Joining Mexico in the bottom six on the index were the United States, Indonesia, Turkey, China and Iran.
Mexico’s handling of the pandemic has become global news. Yesterday, The New York Times reported on the health crisis in Mexico with a cover story titled “I’d Rather Stay Home and Die,” detailing Mexicans’ distrust of the country’s health system and their reluctance to go to the hospital with coronavirus symptoms, which could skew the accuracy of numbers of confirmed cases and increase the spread of the disease.
And the pandemic may be far from being under control. The latest projections from the University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation estimate that by December 1 Mexico will register 118,810 deaths from the coronavirus, a prediction that, if accurate, will mean that the current death toll will double in less than four months.
As of Monday, Mexico had recorded the sixth-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world with 485,836, and 53,003 deaths, the third-highest in the world.
There were 705 deaths and 5,558 new cases reported on Monday.
Source: El Universal (sp)