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For Yucatán, a quiet 48 hours as ‘stealth’ variant spreads elsewhere

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Yucatán Magazine
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Yucatán reported zero new coronavirus-related deaths and infections for the second day in a row.

Hospitalizations and home quarantines also declined significantly.

But a newer COVID wave has hit Western Europe, Asia, and parts of the United States including Florida and the New York, where planes depart daily for the Peninsula.

About a dozen nations are seeing spikes in BA.2, a cousin of the BA.1 variant of the virus that tore through the US for three months.

Vaccination rates, the availability of antiviral medications and natural immunity acquired by previous infections may affect the course of any surge in the United States. The severity of illness caused by the new “stealth” Omicron strain remains unclear.

Yucatán has come a long way in a year. April 4, 2021 — Easter Sunday — saw 40 infections and 10 deaths in a single day. The worst day for new cases was Feb. 2, 2022, when 1,173 new cases were detected and 11 perished. Hospitals were most strained, however, in 2020 when a convention center in Mérida and a temporary building in Valladolid became makeshift COVID wards.

At one point in the summer, over 600 people were on ventilators in public hospitals. Private hospitals — which don’t share their statistics with public health officials — were turning away patients. Today, four patients were in private hospitals, half of Sunday’s total. Home quarantines, at one point near 10,000, declined by four to reach 16.

Since the crisis began, 109,603 coronavirus cases and 6,931 deaths are on the books, but limited testing suggests the real numbers are much higher.

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