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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 17, 2024  1 month, 1 week, 1 day, 18 minutes ago

COVID-19 News: More Than 200,000 Active COVID-19 Cases Reported In Mexico As Hospitals Are Overwhelmed!

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COVID-19 News: More Than 200,000 Active COVID-19 Cases Reported In Mexico As Hospitals Are Overwhelmed!
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 17, 2024  1 month, 1 week, 1 day, 18 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: In the fifth year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Mexico finds itself once again contending with a formidable surge in infections. With over 200,000 active cases reported as of January 11 2024, concerns are growing about the impact on the country's healthcare system. The National Epidemiological Surveillance System (Sinave) has been diligently tracking the spread, revealing a worrisome concentration of cases in key regions. This COVID-19 News report delves into the intricacies of Mexico's current COVID-19 situation, examining government responses, vaccination efforts, hospital capacities, and expert insights.

COVID-19 Cases And Hospitalizations Rising In Mexico
The Geographic Distribution of COVID-19 Cases
Sinave's data highlights Mexico City as the epicenter of the current wave, reporting a staggering 21,425 active COVID-19 cases on January 11. Following closely is Baja California Sur, with 15,466 cases. Other states grappling with significant case numbers include Colima, San Luis Potosí, Tabasco, and Querétaro, each reporting over 8,000 active cases. Nuevo León and Quintana Roo are also on the list, with more than 7,000 and 6,000 cases, respectively. The geographic spread of the virus underscores the widespread nature of the current surge.
Government Responses and Hospital Capacities
Acknowledging the rise in cases, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reassured the public on Tuesday that hospitals are equipped to handle the situation. He emphasized that while there is a surge in respiratory diseases, including the flu, the healthcare system has sufficient beds to accommodate patients.
The federal Health Ministry echoed this sentiment, releasing a statement on Monday indicating that only 5% of general care hospital beds allocated for COVID-19 patients were occupied on January 13, with a mere 1% utilization of ventilators.
Despite these assurances, concerns have been raised as some ho spitals experience high occupancy rates. Seven hospitals, including three in Oaxaca, two in Aguascalientes, and one each in Mexico City and Baja California, reported full occupancy of general care COVID beds. An additional five hospitals exceeded 80% occupancy.
The Health Ministry downplayed these concerns, attributing the increase to changes in bed allocation and asserting that hospitals can reconfigure their wards based on need.
Vaccination Efforts and Decline in Hospital Demand
The Health Ministry attributed the claimed decline in hospital demand to Mexico's national COVID-19 vaccination policy, highlighting the positive impact of vaccination efforts on reducing hospitalizations and deaths.
According to The New York Times vaccinations tracker, 78% of the Mexican population has received at least one vaccine dose, and 65% are fully vaccinated. In the past three months, authorities have been providing additional shots to specific population sectors.
Recently, doses of the Pfizer vaccine have become available at select Mexican pharmacies.
Despite these vaccination achievements, concerns persist regarding the occupancy rates of general care COVID beds.
Expert Insights and Calls for Reinforcement
In response to the escalating situation, experts have issued warnings and called for reinforced preventive measures. The National Epidemiological Surveillance System's alert prompted concerns about the saturation of hospitals and the need for urgent action. With at least 16 hospitals reporting full occupancy due to severe respiratory infections, experts are urging the Ministry of Health to step up vaccination efforts, release antivirals, and promote the widespread use of face masks.
Dr Héctor Hernández Bringas, a member of the UNAM Regional Center for Multidisciplinary Research, expressed dissatisfaction with the government's handling of the situation. He emphasized the high prevalence of respiratory diseases during the winter season and criticized the lack of coordination, shortages, and the introduction of the Cuban vaccine, which lacks the desired effectiveness. Dr Bringas warned that without a serious approach to vaccination campaigns, the country could face increased hospital saturation and, unfortunately, a rise in preventable deaths.
Challenges of the Winter Season
Experts anticipate an increase in respiratory diseases during the winter season, including pharyngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, influenza, and SARS-CoV-2. While the rise in cases during this period was expected, critics argue that the government failed to adequately prepare by ensuring the availability of antivirals and vaccines for the entire population. The consequences are evident in the saturation of some hospitals and the development of serious illnesses.
President López Obrador's Stance
Despite reports of hospital saturation, President López Obrador remains resolute in denying the existence of a critical situation. During his Tuesday press conference, he assured the public that there are enough beds to accommodate patients and downplayed concerns about respiratory diseases during the season. The president defended the government's vaccination strategy, which includes the use of the Cuban-made Abdala vaccine and the Russian Sputnik vaccine, even though they lack WHO endorsement.
International Context
 The global context further complicates Mexico's battle against COVID-19. The emergence of a new variant, JN.1., which is more transmissible and resistant to the immune system, has led international health organizations to recommend the resumption of mask usage in enclosed spaces. Several Latin American countries, including Argentina, Cuba, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, and the Dominican Republic, have either requested increased precautions or reported a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Mexico's current struggle with a surge in COVID-19 cases demands a comprehensive and strategic response from the government. While vaccination efforts have made significant strides, challenges remain in hospital capacities, antiviral availability, and the coordination of preventive measures. As the winter season unfolds, the government's ability to address these challenges will be critical in mitigating the impact of the ongoing wave and safeguarding public health. Vigilance, transparency, and collaboration will be key elements in navigating the complex landscape of the evolving pandemic.
For the latest COVID-19 News, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.


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