Mexican gov’t: Pandemic numbers still on downward trend
Mexico City, Aug 31 (EFE).- Pandemic numbers amid Mexico’s third Covid-19 wave remain on a downward trend, according to the government’s coronavirus czar, who said here Tuesday that this week’s resumption of in-person schooling will not pose a public-health risk.
“We have clear signs we’re in a process of reduction, and we expect that will continue over the coming weeks,” Deputy Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell said during President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s daily press briefing at the National Palace.
Mexico, which has registered 3.3 million confirmed Covid-19 cases and attributed 258,000 deaths (fourth-most worldwide) to that respiratory disease since the onset of the pandemic, has been mired in a third coronavirus wave since May.
The country recently set a new daily record for new cases (28,000), although its Covid-19 mortality rate is down relative to earlier in the pandemic thanks to the country’s vaccination campaign.
Lopez-Gatell predicted that the number of confirmed cases this week will fall 10 percent from the previous seven-week period.
“There’s a sustained downward trend. Thirty of (Mexico’s) 32 federal entities have a declining epidemic curve,” and the same tendency is occurring with hospital admissions.
Nearly 11.4 million students – out of a total of more than 25 million – returned to their classrooms on Monday in 30 of Mexico’s 32 states after a year and a half of coronavirus-triggered school closures.
Some families, however, expressed concerns about the decision to return to in-person schooling while Mexico is still immersed in its third Covid-19 wave.
Lopez-Gatell tried to assuage those fears at the press briefing, saying that minors who contract the coronavirus are very unlikely to experience serious medical complications.
The epidemiologist said Covid-19 is the 10th-leading cause of death among children aged 14 and younger and the seventh-leading cause of death among those aged 15 to 19.
According to government figures, 208 children under the age of one died of Covid-19 last year in a country of 126 million people.
A total of 110 deaths were attributed to Covid-19 among children aged one to four, 61 among children aged five to nine, 92 among children aged 10 to 14 and 258 among adolescents aged 15 to 19.
“The clear message for parents is that Covid-19, as opposed to the reality for elderly people,” is a very minor cause of death, Lopez-Gatell said.
He added that the government has “mechanisms ready to attend to any outbreak at schools” that may occur.
A total of 33.6 million people – or 27 percent of the population – have received the full vaccine series in Mexico.