Wednesday, November 29, 2023

New coronavirus risk map reflects decline in cases; third wave fails to materialize

Mexico’s improving coronavirus situation is reflected on the federal government’s updated coronavirus stoplight map, which shows that all but three of the country’s 32 states are either low risk green or medium risk yellow.

There are 14 green states and 15 yellow states on the new map, which was presented by the Health Ministry on Friday and will take effect on Monday. There are just three high risk orange light states and none at the red light maximum risk level.

The 14 green states, an increase of eight compared to the map currently in force, will be Chiapas, Campeche, Coahuila, Veracruz, Jalisco, Guanajuato, Sonora, Nuevo León, Sinaloa, Durango, San Luis Potosí, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala and Nayarit. The first six states are already green while the other eight will switch from yellow.

The 15 yellow states, a decrease of five compared to the current map, will be Baja California, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Colima, Michoacán, Guerrero, Morelos, Puebla, Querétaro, Tamaulipas, México state, Yucatán, Baja California Sur, Hidalgo and Mexico City. The first 12 state are already yellow while the last three will switch from orange.

The three orange states for the next two weeks will be Chihuahua, Tabasco and Quintana Roo, all of which are already at the high risk level.

Coronavirus cases and deaths in Mexico as reported by day.
Coronavirus cases and deaths in Mexico as reported by day. milenio

Each stoplight color, determined by the Health Ministry using 10 different indicators including case numbers and hospital occupancy levels, is accompanied by recommended restrictions to slow the spread of the virus but it is ultimately up to state governments to decide on their own restrictions.

In addition to presenting the updated stoplight map, health official Ricardo Cortés displayed a graph at Friday night’s coronavirus press briefing that showed that the national hospital occupancy rate has declined 82% from the peak recorded at the start of the year, when many hospitals were overwhelmed with Covid patients. Only 11% of general care beds set aside for Covid patients are currently occupied while 16% of those with ventilators are in use.

Cortés also presented a graph that showed that Mexico’s epidemic curve has declined significantly in recent weeks. The number of new cases reported in April was 30% lower than March, while during the first seven days of May an average of 2,445 cases was reported daily, a 31% decline compared to last month’s daily average.

There are currently 21,706 active cases in the country, according to Health Ministry estimates. That number was above 100,000 at the peak of the second – and worst – wave of the virus in January.

Reported Covid deaths also declined in the first week of May to an average of 250 per day from 456 in April, a 45% drop.

The data on new cases for April and early May show that Mexico avoided a spike in infections that authorities warned could occur after last month’s Easter vacation period. Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell acknowledged Thursday that the feared third wave didn’t occur.

“Very fortunately, the third wave didn’t arrive,” the coronavirus point man said, adding that health authorities had an obligation to warn of the risk as it urged the public to continue to take precautions over the Easter period. “There was success,” López-Gatell declared.

Still, the fact remains that Mexico has been one of the world’s worst affected countries by the coronavirus pandemic. The national accumulated case tally – considered a vast undercount due to low testing rates – currently stands at 2.36 million, the 15th highest total in the world, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The official Covid-19 death toll – also widely believed to be a significant undercount – is 218,657, the world’s fourth highest total after those of the United States, Brazil and India.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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