Mexico counting on vaccines to keep coronavirus case load in check

By Cristina Sanchez Reyes

Mexico City, Dec 14 (EFE).- Mexico is approaching the Christmas holidays with nearly 300,000 Covid-19 deaths and almost 4 million confirmed cases, although authorities there remain confident that the country’s high vaccination level will impede the coronavirus’ spread despite the presence of the Omicron variant.

“In some federal entities that are now at yellow alert, there’s a certain upward trend, particularly in the north of the country, but in the rest of the country there’s still a downward tendency,” Mexico’s coronavirus czar, Deputy Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell, said Tuesday during President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s daily press conference at Mexico City’s National Palace.

Mexico has registered more than 3.9 million confirmed coronavirus cases, while its 297,000 Covid-19 deaths are the fourth highest total worldwide.

Xavier Tello, a surgeon and health communications consultant, said the picture authorities are painting is too rosy.

“It’s no surprise that cases are on the rise. Worldwide, (authorities) are monitoring the Omicron variant and it’s on the upswing. It’s logical for the same thing to happen in Mexico,” he told Efe.

According to the specialist, the problem since the start of the pandemic in Mexico is that very few cases are being detected.

“We have a policy of not testing, and that’s the serious issue,” Tello lamented.

While Lopez-Gatell says hospitalizations are down because fewer new patients are being admitted relative to recovered patients being discharged, Tello said the arrival of winter will likely cause new coronavirus cases to rise.

“We’re going to start to see a worsening of the case load because we’re entering the cold season, and the global tendency is that the number of infected people rises in closed spaces,” the expert said.

Although Tello noted that the majority of the population has received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, he said that is insufficient because now people need an additional booster shot and that third dose is only now being administered to the over-60 population.

Lopez Obrador addressed those concerns on Tuesday, promising that the entire population will receive a Covid-19 booster dose.

But Tello said that even though the situation is not as critical as at the end of 2020 the government needs to step up its vaccination efforts further.

“We continue to have Covid deaths. The only way to end this is to vaccinate all recommended age groups,” he said. EFE


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