States across Mexico are responding to a new increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in a variety of ways, including the introduction of new restrictions.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell confirmed Tuesday that Mexico is now facing a third wave of the pandemic, with case numbers on the rise in almost half of the 32 states.
The Health Ministry reported 9,452 new cases on Thursday – the highest single-day total since February – and 266 Covid-19 deaths, lifting Mexico’s accumulated official totals to 2.56 million infections and 234,458 fatalities. The percentage of recent cases infected with the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus is unclear but the strain that first emerged in India is now circulating in many states.
Meanwhile, tens of millions of young adults across the country remain unvaccinated because the vaccine rollout hasn’t yet reached their age bracket in the place they live.
Here’s a summary of the coronavirus situation in nine of the 32 states.
Mexico’s capital and largest city has been the national coronavirus epicenter since the beginning of the pandemic and easily leads the country for confirmed cases and deaths with more than 701,000 of the former and 44,715 of the latter.
There are currently more than 17,000 active cases in Mexico City, according to Health Ministry estimates, far more than in any other state. However, the capital is currently at the second lowest risk setting on the federal government’s coronavirus stoplight map – medium risk yellow – and is set to remain that color until at least July 18.
Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum acknowledged Thursday that hospitalizations of Covid-19 patients have risen, explaining that the increase has been driven by serious illness among young people.
“Yes there is an increase in hospitalizations but there is sufficient capacity in all Mexico City hospitals. The age of people entering hospitals is lower [than earlier in the pandemic], the number of deaths associated with Covid in hospitals is lower … and the number of intubated people is also lower,” she said.
Despite the increase in cases and hospitalizations, no new restrictions will be introduced for the time being, Sheinbaum said. However, the Mexico City government has launched a new information campaign urging residents to act responsibly, follow health rules and get vaccinated when the opportunity arises.
Authorities in Jalisco have increased patrols of bars and other entertainment venues to ensure compliance with health protocols as case numbers rise in the western state. More than 400 new cases were recorded in Jalisco on Thursday, according to state government data, pushing the accumulated tally above 256,000.
Despite a recent increase in cases, the implementation of new restrictions is off the table for now in the green light low risk state.
“We don’t want to take restrictive measures again,” said Enrique Ibarra, the state government’s general secretary.
The official said that new cases among people aged 20 to 34 are fueling Jalisco’s growing outbreak, which he blamed on the more transmissible Delta strain.
Nevertheless, authorities are still aiming to reopen schools in late August and don’t want to interrupt the reactivation of the tourism sector and the economy more widely, said state official Alejandro Guzmán Larralde.
Jalisco currently has more than 1,300 active coronavirus cases, according to federal estimates, and has recorded 12,649 Covid-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Authorities in Sinaloa have also stepped up vigilance of bars, cantinas, restaurants, casinos and other entertainment venues across all 18 municipalities to enforce compliance with virus mitigation measures. Sinaloa’s epidemic curve has shown a clear upward trajectory in recent weeks and there are now more than 2,200 estimated active cases in the northern state.
Health Minister Efrén Encinas Torres said authorities are increasing the number of beds available for Covid-19 patients at hospitals across the state. He highlighted that the number of Covid beds at the Mazatlán General Hospital has been doubled to 60.
Federal data shows that Sinaloa currently has the second highest occupancy rate in the country for general care hospital beds with 44% taken.
Meanwhile, Governor Quirino Ordaz Coppel announced Thursday that he had submitted a formal request to the federal government for more Covid-19 vaccines. The aim is to roll out vaccines to people in the 30-39 age bracket starting in high risk areas such as Culiacán and Mazatlán, he said.
Sinaloa, currently yellow on the stoplight map, has recorded almost 45,000 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic and 6,511 Covid-19 deaths.
Infections among young people are also driving a growing outbreak in Oaxaca, a green light state with an estimated 826 active cases. In light of the situation, the state government has ordered the suspension of all large events and is overseeing stricter enforcement of existing health measures.
Health Minister Juan Carlos Márquez said the coronavirus situation is worsening in 47 municipalities. Oaxaca city and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region are among the areas of concern, he said.
About one-third of general care Covid hospital beds are taken in the state and at least seven hospitals are at 100% capacity. Oaxaca has recorded more than 49,000 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic and 3,841 Covid-19 deaths.
Case numbers in the northern border state have recently risen above 200 per day, with most detected in Hermosillo, where almost half of all Covid-designated hospital beds are taken.
The state ranks third in Mexico for its general care bed occupancy rate, which is currently 38%. Health Minister Enrique Clausen Iberri said that private hospitals are reporting an occupancy rate of 57%. In the Sonora State General Hospital in Hermosillo, 31% of Covid patients are in serious condition on ventilators, he said.
Sonora is currently medium risk yellow on the federal stoplight map and a range of restrictions remain in place. The state has an accumulated case tally of more than 81,000 and has recorded a total of 6,891 Covid-19 deaths.
The epidemic curve is also trending upwards in the Gulf coast state but Governor Cuitláhuac García ruled out imposing new restrictions because hospital occupancy levels are low “in comparison with the rapid growth in infections.”
Federal data shows that almost 29% of general care beds are occupied in Veracruz, where there are currently nearly 2,200 active cases.
The yellow light state has recorded more than 67,000 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic and over 10,000 Covid-19 deaths.
Baja California Sur
Currently high risk orange on the stoplight map, BCS has the highest hospital occupancy rate in the country with almost 72% of general care beds taken and 55% of those with ventilators in use. The occupancy rate in some hospitals in the state is much higher, forcing authorities to introduce new restrictions, especially in the tourist hotspots of Los Cabos and La Paz.
The state government announced that beaches in Los Cabos would be limited to 30% of normal capacity between July 8 and 15 and those in La Paz would be closed. Lower maximum capacity levels were also set to take effect at retailers such as department stores.
In Comondú, Loreto and Mulegé, authorities said they would ramp up vigilance at shops, entertainment venues and beaches to ensure compliance with health protocols. All sporting events have been suspended in Loreto, and some BCS communities such as Bahía Tortuga and Punta Abreojos have introduced voluntary 10:00 p.m curfews, among other measures aimed at stopping or slowing the spread of the virus.
BCS has recorded more than 42,000 accumulated cases and 1,628 Covid-19 deaths. More than 2,700 of the cases are estimated to be active, meaning that the state currently has the third largest active outbreak in the country after Mexico City and México state.
The health system in Yucatán is also under pressure with 55% of beds with ventilators taken and some hospitals reporting 100% capacity in their Covid units. The state, orange on the stoplight map, has seen a recent increase in case numbers, and currently has an estimated 2,179 active infections.
Governor Mauricio Vila recently announced that some beaches in the state would be closed on weekends, including those in Progreso, located 40 kilometers north of state capital Mérida. An 11:30 p.m. to 5:00 a.m curfew is in place across the state.
Yucatán’s accumulated case tally is almost 49,000 while its official Covid-19 death toll is 4,400.
Authorities in Nuevo León, a yellow light state with more than 1,800 estimated active cases, have ruled out a return to in-person classes when the new school year begins on August 30. No date has yet been set for a reopening of schools, said Governor Jaime Rodríguez, explaining that it was impossible to do so because of the growing coronavirus outbreak.
Nuevo León has recorded more than 129,000 accumulated cases and almost 10,000 Covid-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Covid units in the state’s hospitals are currently about one-quarter full on average.
With reports from Milenio