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Coronavirus patients without symptoms left off ‘official’ count, health ministry reveals

Official new-infection numbers are an undercount of actual positive results

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Yucatan health officials clarified which people who test positive for coronavirus are counted as “official new cases.” Only patients who present symptoms of the virus are listed as new infections, which officials say is in line with federal guidelines.

This explains the disparity that became Tuesday when 47 new coronavirus cases found at the San Benito and Lucas de Gálvez markets didn’t appear to be represented in that day’s health briefing. Later, officials clarified that only five of those new infections were reflected in the report.

The Yucatan Health Ministry conducts around 380 tests daily to hunt down the virus, and medical personnel have calculated the real number of infections must be approaching the 5,000 mark in Yucatan.

Six COVID-19 patients died and 39 official new cases were brought on by health authorities Wednesday. Sixty-two patients recovered, a rare day when more people got better than were declared sick.

Wednesday’s reports broke down the official new infections by town: 20 were detected in Merida, and another five were in Uman. Two each were in Chankom, Maxcanú and Ticul, and one case each came from Akil, Huhí, Chikindzonot, Motul, Tekom, Tinum, Tizimín and Sacalum.

That makes 1,257 official positive cases and 122 deaths in Yucatan since the pandemic was declared in March.

Two Kanasín women, 65 and 66, died, as did three men from Merida, 66, 68 and 79; and a 56-year-old man from Chichimilá.

There are 198 patients quarantined at home in stable condition and 132 in the hospital, two fewer than Tuesday.

Merida’s main marketplaces at San Benito and Lucas de Gálvez shut down today after officials found nearly 40% of vendors tested positive for the virus. Some media reports claim five butchers from the meats area have died.

A small altercation at one of the entrances was broken up by police when some would-be shoppers attempted to enter. But the only people allowed to go inside the mercados were vendors collecting perishables.

With information from Diario de Yucatan, El Financiaro

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