Mexico’s poorest municipality, Santos Reyes Yucuná, Oaxaca, reported its first confirmed case of the coronavirus on July 17, four months after the pandemic reached Mexico.
The virus took longer to find its way to this remote, Mixtec community located 217 kilometers from the state’s capital due to its lack of infrastructure, especially roads.
The social development agency Coneval estimates that 99.9% of the municipality’s population of 1,380 lives in poverty, most at extreme levels. There is no hospital in the area, and most residents do not have government health insurance or the means to travel to a hospital in another city, should they fall ill.
Another town in Oaxaca’s Mixteca region, Coicoyán de las Flores, is in a similar situation with much the same levels of poverty. One case of the coronavirus was reported last month and the patient, a 25-year-old woman, died.
Last weekend, 23 new cases of Covid-19 were registered in the Mixteca region, for a total of 482 positive cases and at least 48 reported deaths. The area’s municipal seat, Huajuapan, has the highest number of cases at 30, with three people hospitalized.
Earlier this week the mayor of Santos Reyes Yucuná, Sergio Francisco Amado Aja, asked Oaxaca Health Services (SSO) and the state governor to assign medical and nursing personnel and send medications and medical supplies to the town’s clinic.
“In this rainy season, there are times when children or people get sick with the flu, but it might be confused with another type of illness or Covid-19. That’s why we are asking for doctors at the clinic so that people do not have to be moved to the city of Huajuapan,” he said. “We do not have public transportation, and apart from that there is no money for transportation, and receiving care in Huajuapan is very expensive.”