Tuesday, November 28, 2023

COVID testing centers overwhelmed in 13 states as active case numbers soar

Demand for COVID-19 tests has increased in numerous states as the number of active cases across the country continues to climb rapidly.

The newspaper Reforma reported Tuesday that people have flocked to testing centers in Sonora, Nuevo León, Guanajuato, Baja California, Chihuahua, Zacatecas, Tabasco, Coahuila, Yucatán, Aguascalientes, Quintana Roo, Querétaro, Jalisco, Veracruz and Mexico City.

The increased demand for testing came as the Health Ministry reported the highest number of daily cases since September 8 on Tuesday. An additional 15,184 infections were reported, lifting Mexico’s accumulated case tally above 4 million.

There are an estimated 61,477 active cases across Mexico, an increase of 170% compared to a week ago. The official COVID-19 death toll increased by 130 on Tuesday to 299,711.

Several experts warned that case numbers would spike this month due to increased mobility and large gatherings over the Christmas-New Year period. Unsurprisingly, demand for testing services has also risen.

Long lines were reported at testing centers in many cities including Aguascalientes, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Veracruz and Mexico City. Demand for testing has increased not only at government run-vaccination centers but also at pharmacies and private health care facilities.

Patricia Mejía Morales, a Mexico City resident, queued for 1 1/2 hours at a rapid testing station in the capital on Tuesday but didn’t reach the front of the line. She and many other people decided to leave the lineups without finding out whether they had COVID or not, Reforma reported.

Alejandra González, who went to a testing station at the Forum Buenavista shopping center with her two daughters, was unable to access testing after waiting for over an hour. She and her daughters were ill, and one of the girls had an oxygen saturation level below 85%, Reforma said.

González said they had attempted to get tested at other locations in the capital but had no luck. She said she couldn’t afford to pay for tests at a private clinic.

In light of the increased demand for testing, the Mexico City Health Ministry said that additional rapid tests will be sent to testing stations.

Mexico City currently has more than 16,500 active cases, more than any other state. However, on a per capita basis, Baja California Sur remains the country’s coronavirus epicenter with almost 600 current infections per 100,000 people.

Mexico City ranks second with almost 200 active cases per 100,000 people followed by Quintana Roo, where there are about 170.

No other state has more than 100, but the situation could change quickly as the highly contagious omicron strain continues to spread.

With reports from Reforma 

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