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Yucatán health ministry ends daily live COVID broadcasts

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our best stories will appear in your inbox every Monday.
Dr. Patricia Muñoz Miranda, leader of the Program Against Respiratory Diseases of Yucatán, delivers a coronavirus briefing. Photo: Facebook Live

Goodbye Dra. Paty. You’ve been replaced with a jpg.

After more than two years of the Yucatán health ministry’s Facebook Live coronavirus reports, the TV-news-style briefings have been replaced with a simple graphic with a brief summary of new cases, hospitalizations, recoveries and deaths.

A simple graphic with basic data replaces daily Facebook Live briefings in Yucatán.

This happens as Yucatán authorities report three consecutive days with no new coronavirus infections. It has been nine days since a COVID-19 patient died in Yucatán.

The new chart does not report how many overall patients are under care or quarantine. It also doesn’t give vaccination updates.

But the first such graphic spells out that 11 patients are in public hospitals. Private hospital data has not been included in the daily reports.

The graphic shares one flaw with the old live briefings. They are short on trends. They report the day’s numbers with no comparison with the day, week, month or year before. Is 11 patients good news or bad? Is it more or less than yesterday? (In this case, it’s one more patient than the day before.)

Dra. Patricia Muñoz Miranda, leader of the Program against Respiratory Diseases of Yucatán, has become the state’s face of the pandemic. Photo: SSY

The reports made little celebrities of the health ministry employees who took turns behind the desk. The most popular, gauging from comments, was Dra. Patricia Muños Miranda, whose stern gaze into the camera appeared to capture the gravity of the pandemic.

The pandemic reached Yucatán on March 13, 2020, which prompted daily in-person press conferences to discuss the situation. By March 18, those were replaced with the Facebook Live broadcasts that continued until today.

Thousands of viewers logged on to the broadcasts at the height of the pandemic, but in recent months, audience numbers dropped to the hundreds.

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