Covid-19 strikes indigenous community in northern Mexico

Hermosillo, Mexico, Jul 31 (EFE).- The third wave of Covid-19 in Mexico has reached a remote indigenous community in the northern border state of Sonora following an influx of tourists in late June for the new year’s celebration of the Comcaac Seri Nation.

Personnel from the state health department tested around 10 percent of the nearly 700 residents of Punta Chueca and detected 12 coronavirus infections.

Five people were deemed sick enough to warrant hospitalization, but only one of them agreed to be admitted, district health director Jose Duarte Cubillas said.

The infected include the governor of the Comcaac Seri Nation, Joel Barnett Morales, and the chairman of the Council of Elders, Enrique Robles Barnett.

At least 400 Mexican and foreign visitors flocked to the Sonoran desert community of Punta Chueca to share in the new year’s observance.

The temporary increase in population coincided with a shortage of potable water due to the breakdown of a desalinization plant serving the town.

The state health department sent a team of doctors, nurses and paramedics to Punta Chueca to administer Covid-19 tests, provide treatment and encourage residents to wear masks and practice social distancing, Cubillas said.

“We laid a lot of emphasis on the alarming Covid-19 severity data and the importance of receiving second-level (hospital) attention in the event of complications,” he said “Treatment and medical recommendations were provided to the positive cases.”

Sonora, which borders Arizona, has a Covid-19 mortality rate of 21 deaths for every 10,000 inhabitants, tied with Baja California and Mexico state for the second-highest in the Aztec nation.

More than half of the hospital beds in Sonora are currently occupied.

The third wave of the pandemic has increased Mexico’s total number of confirmed cases to 2.8 million and the death toll to 240,000, surpassed only by the United States, Brazil and India.

EFE ds/dr

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