The Ministry of Health (SSa) confirmed 145 more deaths from the coronavirus, bringing Mexico’s total death count to 857. There were also 729 new cases of the virus recorded in the past day, bringing the total to 9,501 confirmed cases in Mexico.
During the presentation of the technical report on the progress of COVID-19 in the country, José Luis Alomía, general director of epidemiology, explained that the region of the Americas leads the percentage of new cases of this disease with 45.6 percent. This parameter is measured with the cases registered during the last 14 days, with the Americas overtaking Europe with 44 percent of new cases.
At the national level, the expert agreed with what the SSa and the World Health Organization ( WHO ) have reiterated since the beginning of the pandemic: that the most populated cities will be the most affected by SARS-CoV-2, since the three most affected entities are Mexico City, State of Mexico and Baja California. He also pointed out the three least affected that are Zacatecas, Durango and Colima.
During today’s morning presidency conference, Hugo López-Gatell, undersecretary for health promotion and prevention, officially announced the entry to Phase 3 of the epidemic in the country, where a substantial increase of COVID-19 cases is forecast until mid-May, where the epidemic curve is expected to begin to decline.
“Today we want to start Phase 3 of the COVID epidemic, remembering that we are in a phase of rapid rise where a large number of infections accumulate,” explained the epidemiologist.
This means that the sanitary measures ordered by the federal government will intensify throughout the republic in order to flatten the epidemic curve.
“There can be no measures that are less rigorous in terms of the primary objective, which is to decrease mobility in public space,” said López-Gatell.
A report on Thursday, April 16, explained that the National Sana Distance Day will last until May 30 by virtue of fighting the disease and minimizing the number of exposed people.
The National Sana Distancia Day is the measure of social isolation recommended by the WHO that promotes social isolation, where the population is encouraged to stay at home; however, this measure has an immediate consequence of paralysis of all secondary or non-essential economic activities, in such a way that a negative impact on the family economy is also expected by reducing the sources of income.
Despite the growing numbers of infection and declaring stage 3 of the pandemic, the SSa undersecretary announced that around 1,000 municipalities in Mexico will lift stay at home orders on Monday, May 18; however, they do not rule out the possibility that the virus can regain strength.
A rebound in cases in the 1,000 small municipalities that are expected to begin losing stay at home orders could flood the health system, smaller urban areas have a much fragile health system and lacks the capabilities for testing.
“We are doing well, we are managing to reduce infections. This is what we have called ‘flattening the curve,’” he stated in the video with an optimistic tone, although the numbers continue to increase and no flattening of the curve has been documented.
Mexico has only tested 40,000 people for COVID-19 out of the 130 million population.