MEXICO – After a week in which several daily records were broken in the number of coronavirus infections, the Mexican government urged on Friday to rectify the measures to reopen activities because there have been worrying rebounds.
In clear contrast to the tone shown in previous days, the Undersecretary of Health Hugo López-Gatell, government spokesman for the epidemic, launched a message that hints at concern in the authorities.
We need to “reconsider and change course” because there has not been an orderly and slow lack of control, which would have been adequate, and in some states there have been sudden increases in infections, said the official.
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Among others, he mentioned the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, where the city of Cancun is, and where tourist activity began to revive. There, the increase in COVID-19 cases by 29% shows the “urgent need to take action to control this outbreak,” he said.
But in addition to issuing an alarm signal, López-Gatell said that the upturns could not be blamed on a single level of government and attributed part of the responsibility to local and state authorities, some of which, he indicated, were not presenting the federal government consistent data.
Because of this, he said, on Friday it was not possible to present the map of the country with the different colors that show the different levels of alert.
Mexico reached 289,174 confirmed cases during the day, with at least 34,191 deaths, although the authorities themselves acknowledge that the real numbers are higher.
López-Gatell said the speech has been distorted, for example by criticizing that insufficient tests are being done, and blamed state authorities for the lags and that the people waiting for results already exceed 80,000.
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“We have half the reality because the tests are not finished,” their results are not reported or they are not done to the right people, he said.
In this area, he announced the launch of a new program to do group tests – five people at a time – to detect and control community outbreaks. If the group result is negative, the need to do four more tests is avoided.
Hours before, the government of Mexico City had announced measures for greater control of cases and to support families with someone infected so that all of its members stay at home.
The change in tone in the undersecretary’s speech coincides with the message also released on Friday by the Pan American Health Organization, in which its representative in Mexico, Cristian Morales, described the situation in the country as “extremely complex”.
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Morales gave three reasons for this: that COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise; the economic and social impact that the pandemic is having; and the “confusion” that some measures and official messages were generating in the population.
He also recalled that, as the course that the epidemic will take is still unknown, the obligatory message is to increase caution.
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