Mexico’s health ministry on Wednesday reported 1,609 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 197 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 27,634 cases and 2,704 deaths.
The government has said the real number of infected people is significantly higher than the confirmed cases. To date, Mexico has only tested 93,441 people for COVID-19. Earlier, Undersecretary of Health, Hugo López-Gatell, told reporters that testing and knowing the number of infections in the country isn’t important to fighting the pandemic.
Among the confirmed positives, Mexico City has accumulated the most so far: 7,521 people. They are followed by the State of Mexico, with 4,661 patients and Baja California, with 2,097. Colima, with 31 confirmed, in addition to Durango, with 91, and Zacatecas, with 119, are the entities with the fewest cases so far.
The Undersecretary of Health, Hugo López-Gatell, specified that, thanks to the fact that the Mexican society had managed to “flatten” the contagion curve up to 74% thanks to the basic measures of social distancing, the forecast for the maximum peak of contagions had changed.
Health authorities had warned that the peak would begin on May 6, López-Gatell specified that it had been delayed until May 8. “We cannot win on all fronts: if the curve is reduced, the time of the epidemic expands,” said the official.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador indicated that the states of Puebla, Veracruz and Morelos should take precautions because they are red hot spots of active cases of coronavirus. It was also detailed that the DN-III Plan and the Marine Plan will come into operation to bring ventilators to states that require them.
How many cases of coronavirus are there actually in Mexico?
Although for more than three months the federal Secretary of Health has been holding a daily press conference to report the progress of Covid-19 in the country, the truth is that each day it becomes more difficult to know the reality of the spread of the pandemic, due to that the health authorities constantly modifying the criteria to measure the number of infections.
One of these is the so-called Sentinel Model that the Mexican government uses to monitor the growth of the epidemic.
It is a mechanism that identifies the occurrence of diseases in the population, based on reports from only 475 of the 26,000 medical units in Mexico, so for each confirmed case of Covid-19, there would be 8 more, although specialists consider that the factor would be higher, closer 12 or more.
On April 8, when Mexico was still in Phase 2 of the pandemic and two weeks had passed since the Healthy Distance Day was implemented, the Undersecretary of Health, Hugo López-Gatell explained the model allowed recognizing the behavior of the disease and how control and prevention decisions had to be made without the need of mass testing or putting importance on the number of cases but the frequency of the spread.
Already in the middle of Phase 3, López-Gatell was questioned if the Sentinel Model was still reliable, but he only replied that at this stage of the pandemic, the model was no longer the main factor in knowing the behavior of the epidemic.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) urged the countries of the American continent to “be cautious” when it comes to eliminating or softening the measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, since the transmission “is still very high ” in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Mexico.
“Be cautious, easing or removing restrictive measures can accelerate the spread of the virus and open the door to a dramatic resurgence and spread to other adjacent areas,” Carissa Etienne, PAHO Director, told the conference during a videoconference.
Etienne said that in many areas of the region the number of new coronavirus infections multiplies in just days .
“In the United States, Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Mexico we are seeing cases that double in four days or less, ” he said.