Monday, June 17, 2024

Mexico City death toll passes 50,000 as nationwide vaccination rate hits 50%

Mexico City’s official COVID-19 death toll passed 50,000 on Thursday, although the real number of fatalities is almost certainly much higher.

An additional 70 deaths were reported in the capital on Thursday, lifting its pandemic total to 50,063. Another 38 fatalities were registered on Friday, increasing Mexico City’s total number of pandemic deaths to to 50,101.

There have been doubts about the accuracy of Mexico City’s COVID-19 death toll since early in the pandemic. Various media outlets, including Sky News and The New York Times, concluded last year that deaths were being underreported and an anti-graft group reached the same conclusion after completing an analysis of death certificates.

The federal government has since conceded that Mexico’s true COVID-19 death toll is much higher than official statistics indicate.

Excess mortality data also indicates that the toll the pandemic has taken on the country is much greater than statistics show.

Crowds of masked pedestrians in the streets of Mexico City.
Crowds of masked pedestrians in the streets of Mexico City.

Still, whatever Mexico City’s real death toll is, 50,000 fatalities is a sobering milestone.

México state, which includes many municipalities that are part of the greater Mexico City metropolitan area, ranks second for deaths with 31,549.

Only five other states have recorded more than 10,000 COVID deaths. They are Jalisco (15,788); Puebla (14,381); Veracruz (13,089);  Nuevo León (12,273); and Guanajuato (11,921)

In other COVID-19 news:

• Mexico recorded 10,139 new cases on Friday and 564 additional deaths. The accumulated tallies stand at just under 3.62 million and 274,703, respectively. There are 67,092 estimated active cases, a 1% decrease compared to Thursday.

• Just under 98.3 million vaccine doses have been administered, according to the latest official data. Almost 760,000 shots were given on Thursday.

About 70% of adults have received at least one shot while the vaccination rate among the entire population is approximately 50%.

• The number of hospitalized COVID patients in Mexico City hospitals continues to decline, city official Eduardo Clark said Friday. There are currently 1,677 hospitalized patients, a reduction of 330 compared to a week ago.

The capital, which has also recorded the most coronavirus cases among Mexico’s 32 states, will remain medium risk yellow on the stoplight map for the next week, Clark said.

• Applying for injunctions in order to access vaccination for people aged under 18 is “extremely individualistic,” Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said Friday.

Mexico has not offered vaccines to minors although it intends to begin inoculating more than 1 million children with certain health conditions as well as pregnant adolescents in October.

“We follow technical criteria so that everyone gets [a vaccine] when they need it most. That’s why we find this extremely individualistic vision that leads to the use of a [legal] resource unfortunate,” López-Gatell said.

However, he conceded that obtaining injunctions is legal and legitimate.

Hundreds of Mexican children aged 12 and over have been vaccinated after receiving court orders. López-Gatell said that health authorities have even received orders to vaccinate children as young as two.

“We can’t comply with something that would place the life of a minor at risk, … that’s impossible,” he said.

• COVID wards in 11 hospitals in Oaxaca are at capacity, Health Minister Juan Carlos Márquez Heine said Thursday. He also reported 56 additional hospitalizations of COVID patients.

The southern state recorded 360 new confirmed cases on Thursday and 20 additional deaths. Márquez said there is active transmission of the virus in 144 municipalities, including Oaxaca, Ciudad Ixtepec, Juchitán, Tehuantepec and Salina Cruz.

• Case numbers are declining in Los Cabos and and La Paz but the coronavirus risk level in the two Baja California Sur (BCS) municipalities will remain unchanged, authorities said.

BCS has its own health alert system with six different risk levels: low, medium, high, very high, critical and maximum.

Los Cabos and La Paz are at level 2 medium, Mulegé is at level 3 high, Loreto is at level 4 very high and Comondú is at level 5 critical.

Each risk level stipulates social distancing requirements and maximum capacity limits for commercial establishments.

With reports from Milenio

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