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Mexico’s health undersecretary finds ‘uncontrolled epidemic’ in Merida

Another 29 hospital beds taken as space runs short

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Hugo López-Gatell. Photo: Getty

“It is urgent to act in Yucatan,” Mexico’s health undersecretary said as he declared Merida to be in the midst of an “uncontrolled epidemic.”

Coronavirus in Yucatan “had its curve, it achieved a period of stabilization” but now “there is regrowth” of 15% in the last week, said Hugo López-Gatell.

“In general, the state of Yucatan is in good control, as can be seen from the very low incidence rates,” he said.

While progress in the coronavirus fight was evident in June, in July “control was lost and it is going up.” Daily deaths have ranged between 13 and 16 since July 1.

Nearly four months after the appearance of the first coronavirus case in Yucatan, 5,926 infections have been reported in the state, including 187 new cases reported Friday. And since the first death weeks later, 610 fatalities have occurred, including 16 in the last 24 hours.

López-Gatell also said that Yucatan’s recovery rate is increasing and “there is a slight decrease in mortality.”

On Friday, 133 patients were declared recovered for a total of 4,340 people and a recovery rate of 73%.

Still, 610 coronavirus patients in Yucatan remain stable at home, and hospitalizations shot up by 29 to reach 366. Private hospitals and at least one ISSSTE facility are no longer accepting coronavirus patients, and the auxiliary space in Valladolid was occupied.

Patients range in age from one month to 98 years. Until Thursday, the oldest patient was 97.

New infections included 113 in Mérida; 12 in Valladolid, 11 in Ticul, eight in Progreso; five in Kanasín; four in Halachó and Tizimín; three in Celestún and three outsiders; two in Espita, Hunucmá, Izamal, Muna and Tekax; in addition to one in Akil, Chapab, Chumayel, Dzan, Dzemul, Kinchil, Maxcanú, Opichén, Samahil, Teabo, Tecoh, Tixpéhual, Ucú and Umán, Yucatan health authorities said Friday.

The youngest to die was a 47-year-old Uman man with hypertension. The oldest was an otherwise healthy 92-year-old man from Merida. The average age of the deceased was 76 and all but two had health complications such as diabetes or obesity.

Across Mexico

As of late Friday, Mexico reached 34,191 deaths and 289,174 accumulated infections since the beginning of the national pandemic on Feb. 28.

Mexico has classified 29,627 COVID-19 cases as active.

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