Mexico has now recorded more than 30,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and over 3,000 deaths as the coronavirus pandemic shows no sign of abating.
The federal Health Ministry reported 1,906 new confirmed cases on Friday, taking the total number of accumulated cases to 31,522. It also reported 199 additional fatalities, lifting the death toll to 3,160.
One in six of the total number of confirmed cases were reported in the past three days and one in five coronavirus-related deaths occurred in the same period.
Mexico City continues to bear the brunt of the pandemic, with approximately one-quarter of total cases and deaths reported in the capital. Many México state municipalities that are part of the greater Mexico City metropolitan area have also reported high numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said Friday night that there were 3,372 people in hospitals in the greater metropolitan area who were receiving general care for Covid-19 or coronavirus-like symptoms and that an additional 1,034 patients were in intensive care on ventilators.
More than 2,200 people hospitalized for Covid-19 in the Valley of México have recovered and been discharged, she told the federal Health Ministry’s coronavirus press briefing.
Just under half that number of people – 1,029 – have died in Mexico City and neighboring México state after testing positive for Covid-19.
Sheinbaum presented one graph based on an epidemiological model that showed that hospitalizations are expected to continue to rise in the Valley of México in coming weeks and another that showed that the number of new patients requiring intubation had only increased slightly over the past four days.
“In recent days we’ve had lower growth [in intubations] than what we had in recent weeks [but] we cannot yet say conclusively that this means that we’re flattening the curve [in the Valley of México],” she said.
President López Obrador said earlier on Friday that the peak of the pandemic in Mexico City had begun and was expected to continue until May 20.
“In … Mexico City, we’re in the phase of greatest infection, we’re at the peak. We’ve been informed that it could last until May 20, from now until the 20th, and the projection is that from then the number of infections will start to go down,” he said.
However, an epidemiological model developed by academics at the Center for Research in Teaching and Economics (CIDE), a Mexico City university, and Stanford University, is currently predicting that the pandemic won’t peak in the capital until June 21.
“If nothing changes, we’ll have the peak of infections in the third week of June,” said Fernando Alarid Escudero, a health researcher at CIDE.
Beyond the metropolitan area of Mexico City, Baja California – especially the border city of Tijuana – has been the worst affected part of the country, with almost 2,300 confirmed cases and 365 deaths. Tabasco has the fourth highest number of confirmed accumulated cases followed by Sinaloa, Veracruz and Quintana Roo.
Of the more than 30,000 Covid-19 cases that have been confirmed since the start of the pandemic, 8,048 are currently considered active, Health Ministry Director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomía said Friday night.
Mexico City has the largest active outbreak at present, with more than 2,000 active cases, followed by México state, Tabasco, Veracruz and Baja California.
In addition to the confirmed active cases, there are 20,571 suspected cases across the country, Alomía said, adding that 123,446 people have now been tested for Covid-19.
In addition to the 3,160 coronavirus deaths, the health official said that there are 254 fatalities that are suspected to have been caused by Covid-19 but have not yet been confirmed.
Mexico’s fatality rate based on confirmed Covid-19 deaths remains at 10 per 1,000 confirmed cases.
Despite the growing pandemic, availability of hospital beds remains high, according to Health Ministry data. Only 34% of general care beds set aside for Covid-19 patients across the country are currently occupied while 25% of those with ventilators are in use.
However, hospitals in Mexico City are under much greater pressure, with 74% of general care beds and 62% of those with ventilators currently occupied.
Although some media reports suggest otherwise, López Obrador said Friday that no person with serious coronavirus symptoms has been unable to access the hospital care they require.
“In no case have we lacked beds, ventilators or specialists,” he said. “[The health systems in] Quintana Roo and Baja California were reinforced yesterday, equipment was taken there, and other states are being reinforced [as well].”