Mexico City, May 5 (efe-epa).- Mexico has managed to “flatten” the coronavirus infection curve thanks to the measures implemented by the national government to limit the spread of the virus, health authorities said on Tuesday.
“We have reduced by about 60-75 percent the infections thanks to the measures” that have been taken, the deputy secretary for Prevention and Health Promotion, Hugo Lopez-Gatell, said at a morning press conference at the National Palace, emphasizing that the achievement was due to the social distancing measures Mexicans have been instructed to follow.
The official said, however, that although the curve has been “flattened” that does not mean that the curve “is completely flat” but rather what has happened is that the number of new confirmed virus cases has been brought under control.
He said that, according to a report sponsored by Oxford University, it had been noted that Mexico has been doubling its number of new confirmed cases every six days, whereas there are other countries that are doubling their caseloads every two days.
Therefore, it is possible – he said – to say that Mexico “is flattening the curve.”
Lopez-Gatell also said that in areas like Mexico City, where about 7,000 cases have been detected, the doubling speed has been pegged at every seven days.
The health official reported that, as of Monday, 24,905 positive Covid-19 cases had been detected – 6,696 of which were diagnosed in the last 15 days – while a total of 2,271 people have died from the disease so far.
He said that, despite the pandemic emergency, the Mexican health care system is still able to care for all the known cases so far, noting that on the national level the hospital bed occupation rate is 31 percent while just 25 percent of the beds with ventilators – for critically ill patients – are occupied nationwide.
Lopez-Gatell emphasized that in the case of Mexico City, the epicenter of the pandemic in Mexico, 69 percent of the hospital beds are occupied along with 61 percent of the intensive care beds with ventilators.
He also noted that the most at-risk groups – the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic disease – should not be overconfident in the current scenario and should continue exercising extreme care to protect their health.
He said that 43 percent of the people who have become infected with the coronavirus have hypertension, 40 percent have diabetes and 30 percent are obese, and medical professionals know that people suffering from these conditions generally get much sicker than otherwise healthier people, if they do happen to contract the virus.
Lopez-Gatell called on the public to remain vigilant regarding their symptoms and if any of the Covid-19 symptoms – including dry cough, fever, body aches, loss of taste or smell – arise they should immediately consult a doctor since “there are a number of people who arrive too late and lose their lives in the hours after they get to the hospital.”
On May 1, Lopez-Gatell has stated at another press conference that the “peak” of the pandemic in Mexico would come on May 6, two-and-a-half months after the first Covid-19 case was detected in the country, that case of a 35-year-old man who had returned from Italy being diagnosed on Feb. 28.
The first Covid-19 fatality came on March 19, a 41-year-old man suffering from diabetes but who had not traveled abroad, although family members said they suspected he became infected at a rock concert on March 3.
Lopez-Gatell said that some 250,000 Mexicans are currently experiencing coronavirus symptoms, although thousands more could be sick but not be showing any sign of it. He also estimated that some 8,000 Mexicans could die from the disease before it runs its present course.
Mexican health authorities began implementing preventive actions to lessen the infection risk, including suspending school classes for a month, curtailing non-essential activities, cancelling public events, asking the public to avoid crowds, isolate themselves at home and maintain social distancing.
Mexican health authorities have estimated that the pandemic will have virtually ended by June 25.