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Mexico, third most bereaved country, exceeds 200,000 dead

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                With the threshold of 200,000 deaths crossed Thursday, Mexico is the third country most bereaved by the Covid-19 pandemic after the United States and Brazil.  While the vaccination campaign is unfolding in slow motion, the scenario of a third wave, a Brazilian variant, can no longer be ruled out.

                                    <p>Mexico crossed the threshold of 200,000 bits of Covid-19 on Thursday March 25, a little over a year after the arrival of Covid-19 in this country.  "Sadly, 200,211 people have died from complications from the disease," said José Luis Alomia, director of epidemiology at the Mexican Secretariat of Health.

Mexico’s death rate per 100,000 population is the 17th highest. The rate of death fluctuates between 200 and 1,000 per day. The number of infections exceeds 2.2 million for 126 million inhabitants.

We are very far from the initial forecasts of the government led by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who at the start of the epidemic predicted 8,000 deaths. Pragmatism requires, this estimate was subsequently quickly revised upwards with 35,000 and then 60,000 deaths, a scenario then qualified as “catastrophic”.

The specter of the third wave

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The country, however, comes out of some nine weeks with figures giving hope for an improvement after the nightmare of January. Records of deaths and contaminations were then broken, hospitals were saturated, especially in the capital and its metropolitan area.

But the scenario of a third wave cannot be ruled out, the Brazilian variant, a much more virulent mutation of SARS-CoV-2, circulating in many Latin American countries.

The Mexican authorities indicate that they have so far identified only about ten cases of the British variant and no more than three cases of the Brazilian variant, in particular in a woman who returned from Brazil at the end of January and immediately placed in solitary confinement.

Reluctant to make new forecasts, Hugo Lopez-Gatell, in charge of the government’s strategy against Covid-19, is content to issue a warning as millions of Mexicans are preparing for the Easter holidays. “There is no certainty, neither in Mexico, nor in the world, that the epidemic curve will gradually descend,” he said.

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Vaccines drop by drop

Accused of laxity by his opponents, left-wing President Lopez Obrador replies that Mexico was among the first Latin American countries to launch a vaccination campaign on December 24, 2020. His administration claims to have invested some 3.6 billion dollars dollars in the fight against Covid-19.

“We are already at the bottom of the second wave. We must therefore take the opportunity to vaccinate in order to be protected in the event of a third wave,” said the president this week, whose popularity is maintained.

But this vaccination is progressing slowly. It concerns in priority the nursing staff and the objective is to cover all the elderly people by May. In three months, nearly 10 million doses arrived, of which 6.1 million were administered.

As for the economy, which experienced a historic drop of 8.5% in 2020 due to the pandemic, it appears to be rebounding. This month, the central bank revised its growth estimate for 2021 upwards, to a range of 3.3% to 4.8%.

Despite the intensity of the second wave, the authorities avoided an almost total closure like the one decreed a year ago. Many sectors of the economy remain active despite the restrictions.

With AFP


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