Mexico recorded new single-day peaks for both Covid cases and deaths on Thursday while data shows that infections among young adults have driven the country’s high case numbers over the past two months.
The federal Health Ministry reported 22,339 new cases on Thursday night, pushing Mexico’s accumulated tally to 1.71 million. The daily case tally exceeded the previous single-day high of 21,366 by 973, or 4.5%.
The official Covid-19 death toll reached 146,174 with 1,803 additional fatalities registered. The number of deaths reported Thursday surpassed the previous record of 1,584 fatalities – set two days prior – by 219, or 13.8%. The Health Ministry has reported more than 1,500 fatalities on each of the past three days.
Mexico’s coronavirus pandemic has intensified since the middle of November, and people aged 20 to 39 – so-called millennials – are largely to blame.
Between November 14 and January 21, Mexico recorded 708,030 new coronavirus cases, a figure that accounts for 41% of the 1.71 million cases registered since the virus was first detected here 11 months ago.
Federal data shows that 285,022 cases in the period – 40.3% of the total – were detected in people aged 20 to 39.
The cohort with the highest number of new infections over the past two months is women aged 25 to 29. Up until November 14, a total of 52,419 cases had been detected among women in that age bracket. The figure accounted for about 5% of total cases, which passed 1 million on November 14.
Since that date, an additional 40,856 women aged 25 to 29 have tested positive for the virus, almost 6% of the new cases detected since November 14.
The cohort with the second highest number of new cases is women aged 30 to 34. There were 40,094 cases, a figure that represents 5.7% of total cases in the period between November 14 and January 21.
Among young men, the 25-29 and 30-34 cohorts also recorded the highest number of new cases. A total of 74,842 cases were detected among men in those age brackets, a figure that accounts for 10.6% of all cases in the almost 10-week period.
Among women aged 20 to 24, there were 28,943 new cases while among men in the same age bracket, there were 26,417.
Two experts who spoke to the newspaper El Universal said that one factor in the high number of cases among young adults is that many continue to go to work on a daily basis. Another is that many millennials have continued to gather with friends during the pandemic, especially in the lead-up to and over the Christmas-New Year period.
“The population got fed up with confinement, young people even more so – not adolescents who wanted to go out but rather young adults who attended friends’ parties, who went out to do pre-Christmas shopping,” said Malaquías López, a public health professor at the National Autonomous University and spokesperson for the university’s Covid-19 commission.
“Unfortunately the majority of this [sector of the] population didn’t just get the virus but took it home [to parents and grandparents]. And those who have paid the consequences are the elderly,” he added, referring to higher death rates among seniors who contract Covid-19.
Miguel Ángel Toscano, head of intensive care at Mexico City’s Belisario Domínguez Hospital, also said that young adults are responsible for infecting older, more vulnerable family members.
“In these months of the pandemic we’ve treated all kinds of patients but the majority of serious cases have been in people older than 40 who have one or two chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. It’s not that a young person is exempt from developing complications but statistics show that it is easier for them to recover at home. … The problem is when they infect elderly family members,” he said.
Source: El Universal (sp)