The decrease in the number of coronavirus patients in Mexico City hospitals has stalled, according to Health Minister Olivia López Arellano.
In an interview with the newspaper El Universal, López said that new case numbers and Covid-19 deaths have been contained but the number of people in hospital has not declined this month.
According to data presented by the federal Health Ministry at Sunday night’s coronavirus press briefing, 45% of general care hospital beds set aside for coronavirus patients are currently occupied while 41% of those with ventilators are in use.
“Despite the complexity of the pandemic, we can say that in Mexico City, with its density, [high] population and businesses, we have a containment [of the outbreak]. On the other hand, the epidemic is stagnant in terms of the number of hospitalizations; we haven’t had the reduction we had last month,” López said.
She said the number of coronavirus patients currently in hospital – there were 2,830 on Friday, according to official data – is higher than epidemiological modeling predicted it would be.
López said that residents can help to reduce new hospitalizations by following the health measures in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus. She noted that modeling shows that the number of coronavirus patients in hospital will trend downwards between October and January.
With regard to new coronavirus cases in the capital, the Mexico City health minister said that numbers have been gradually decreasing “with some pauses and stagnations” since the first peak of the pandemic in May.
“For a city like ours with its [heavily populated] metropolitan area, this is very significant,” López said.
Nevertheless, Mexico City continues to lead the country for active cases with an estimated 6,524 as of Sunday. The figure is almost double the number in neighboring México state, which ranks second for estimated active cases with 3,334.
The capital also leads the country for accumulated confirmed cases, with 117,420, and confirmed Covid-19 deaths, with 11,571.
But new Covid-19 fatalities are on the wane, López said, adding that doctors now know more about the disease and are treating patients more effectively.
“More is known about the pathophysiology of the disease and for that reason [medical] interventions are no longer based on a confirmatory test but rather a series of … [symptoms] that allow a person to begin early treatment,” she said.
The health minister acknowledged that the flu season is about to begin, saying that cases could be seen in the first weeks of October. A government vaccination campaign that will seek to inoculate 1.8 million people will begin around the middle of next month, López said.
Federal Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell, has warned on several occasions that Covid-19 and the seasonal flu are likely to coexist during winter months and place additional pressure on hospitals.
At Sunday night’s press conference, the coronavirus czar reported that Mexico’s accumulated coronavirus case tally had increased to 697,663 and that the official Covid-19 death toll had risen to 73,493.
The real number of cases and deaths are widely believed to be much higher due to a lack of testing. In Mexico City alone, fatalities were undercounted by more than 10,000 between March and August, according to an excess mortality report prepared by authorities in the capital.
Meanwhile, although the capital remains at the orange, high-risk level on the federal coronavirus stoplight map, gymnasiums were allowed to open on Monday for the first time in six months.
The fitness facilities cannot operate at more than 30% capacity, which is one of several restrictions imposed by city officials.
Source: El Universal (sp)