Mexico City, Mexico — Mexico’s health authorities are encouraging people to take preventative measures against the spread of COVID-19 as active cases of the virus reached 200,000, according to National Epidemiological Surveillance System (SINAVE), as reported by El País.
While hospitalizations are low compared to previous waves during the pandemic, on Wednesday, the Health Ministry reported that of 601 COVID units across the country, there are nine hospitals with 70% occupancy or more in their normal beds, and two hospitals with above 70% occupancy in beds equipped with ventilators, down from 14 and four respectively on Tuesday.
During his Tuesday morning press conference, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed an uptick in infections but said there’s no cause for alarm at this time.
“No, we have enough beds. Yes, there are many respiratory diseases in these times; flus and other types of diseases that have to do with the weather, with the season,” said López Obrador. “Fortunately, there is not a critical situation, and all the patients are being attended to, and there is space in the hospitals to attend to the sick.”
The Health Ministry released a statement on Tuesday, saying that the increase in COVID-19 cases is common as it “happens in every cold season” and that the National Vaccination Policy against SARS-CoV-2 has significantly curbed infections.
“A notable decrease in the demand for care is observed, compared to previous epidemiological waves, as a result of the National Vaccination Policy against the SARS-CoV-2 Virus for the Prevention of COVID-19 in Mexico, which has resulted in a notable reduction in the need for hospital care and registered deaths,” the statement read.
During the height of the pandemic, Mexico had one of the highest mortality rates for COVID-19 in the world.
A 2021 study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine found that over 600,000 people had died from COVID-19, over three times what the government was reporting at the time.
Accumulated excess deaths from COVID-19 from March 2020 to May 2023 reached nearly 640,000, according to data from the Mexican government. Some estimates put that figure at around 700,000.