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Monday, December 6, 2021

14th death, and 4 new cases, reported in Yucatan

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The Siglo XXI convention center is transformed into a makeshift hospital as Yucatan prepares for more coronavirus patients. Photo: Courtesy

Two more deaths from COVID-19 were reported Sunday and four more patients in Yucatan tested positive for the virus.

A 60-year-old man with a history of high blood pressure and obesity and a 52-year-old woman with diabetes, hypertension and heart disease were the latest to die in the coronavirus pandemic.

Sunday’s announcement makes 14 fatalities from coronavirus in the state.

Since the crisis began, 183 out of 1,577 patients tested in Yucatan turned out to have the coronavirus infection. Another 43 possible cases were reported Sunday, and results are pending those and another 67.

“Those who had contact with these two patients report no symptoms and are in isolation and strict monitoring by health personnel,” Sunday’s health department statement reports, in Spanish.

Of the confirmed cases, five more have recovered, bringing the total to 100 so far. Another 39 are stable, recuperating at home. Thirty patients, including three admitted Sunday, are in the hospital.

The Yucatecan woman infected and diagnosed in Canada is still in the hospital. Her case has been applied to that country’s statistics.

The age range of confirmed cases is from 10 to 78 years.

Health authorities reiterated that good public health depends on everyone following prescribed measures.

“These days are not holidays,” the Health Ministry states. “It is essential to stay at home and comply with the provisions decreed by the federal government.”

Mouth guards and social distancing, particularly for people still working in essential occupations, must continue, authorities said.

A COVID-19 hotline is at 800-YUCATÁN (800-982-2826) for residents with questions. Press 9 for an English-speaking agent.

{ Related: See past stories on the coronavirus response }

Across Mexico

Saying the country is ready to face the worst of the pandemic, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Sunday placed the peak of the pandemic between May 2 and 8.

But hospitals in Mexico City are already nearing the saturation point after they received 100 more COVID-19 patients requiring intubation in just two days, according to the newspaper El Norte.

Of the city’s 16 municipalities, the most affected is Iztapalapa, where the general hospital is at capacity and is turning away patients, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said.

Mexico City, which is home to 8.8 million people, had 2,299 cases as of yesterday and 178 deaths. The country reported 650 deaths and 7,497 confirmed cases.

Mexico was slow to implement measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Less than a month ago, Lopez Obrador was posting videos of himself surrounded by children, and urging citizens to go out and visit restaurants. The country has now started to react. While it says it has tested more people, Mexico’s ratio of deaths to confirmed cases is the highest in Latin America, suggesting it’s not doing enough in identifying cases, Bloomberg News reported.

While Mexico has fewer confirmed cases per capita than other countries in the region that are at the same stage of the outbreak, its ratio of deaths to population is expanding at a similar rate. U.S. President Donald Trump has promised to send the country another 1,000 ventilators by the end of the month, Lopez Obrador said Friday on Twitter.

Hospitals in Mexico City have now put 468 patients on ventilators, El Norte reported. The National Institute for Respiratory Diseases, the main center for COVID-19 treatment, has a record 70 patients.

Free speech clash

Government officials warned TV Azteca that it may have violated exceptions to free speech provisions after the network’s star anchor told viewers to ignore the county’s health czar.

Anchorman Javier Alatorre said, in prime time Friday, that the nightly briefings by Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez Gatell had become “irrelevant” after a governor said the national death tolls were not up to date.

“We tell you as strongly as possible: Don’t pay attention to Hugo Lopez Gatell,” Alatorre said.

Mexico’s interior ministry issued a warning on Saturday, saying TV Azteca could have overstepped free speech exceptions to protect public order after the anchor asked viewers to “disobey” Lopez Gatell.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador defended Lopez Gatell and called on Mexicans to heed his advice.

“We wholly trust him,” Lopez Obrador said. “So that is why I think our friend Javier Alatorre is wrong. Last night he said to ignore Dr. Hugo Lopez Gatell. I think it was a thoughtless step.”

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