This November 19, Mexico registered 100,000 confirmed deaths from coronavirus infection. But in reality the number of deaths as a result of the pandemic has already reached 260 thousand.
This figure includes the 100,000 deaths officially recognized as victims of COVID-19 and the rest -160,000- “the causes are not yet known”. They are patients -the majority- who died at home, because they could not find a place in a hospital or because they were simply afraid to go because of the risk of contagion.
They call it “excess mortality” and it serves to measure the impact of the pandemic in Mexico, based on official figures.
How do you explain the excess? Although almost the same number of deaths is registered in each country every year, when an extraordinary phenomenon such as a war or, in this case a pandemic occurs, more deaths occur. This is known as excess mortality, that is, deaths in addition to those expected.
In the Mexican case, the “extra” deaths reached 210,529,000 between April 1 and September 30 –the period of the pandemic–. Of that total, only 80,660 had been confirmed with COVID-19.
This means that for every person killed by COVID there were 2.6 deaths, a proportion that has practically remained in the monthly calculation of additional deaths, even when the entities have presented a greater number of deaths in different months.
Hence, upon reaching 100,000 deaths confirmed by COVID this Thursday, the projected number based on official figures would be 260,000 deaths after nine months of pandemic, where the same factor of 2.6 deaths has been maintained for each confirmed of coronavirus.
This is a number greater than 60 thousand deaths that, according to Undersecretary Hugo López-Gatell said in June, would be a “catastrophic scenario” for the country. However, this number was reached from last august.
Political Animal and Proyecto Li has made the calculation of deaths in addition to those expected, based on the National Population Registry (Renapo) and total civil registries, in the case of entities that register their data with delays or inconsistencies. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health only includes 25 states in its calculation.
Although the proportion officially reported by the Ministry of Health in its last report of excess mortality of October 10, without including seven entities, registered 203 thousand deaths in excess, of which 80 thousand were confirmed with COVID. Therefore, their proportion is 2.4 deaths.
In Press conference, López-Gatell regretted that the media are focused on “The alarmist perspective” since the beginning of the epidemic, for publishing the statistics.
“The epidemic is terrible in itself, do not add drama to it. Putting statistics on the front pages as I don’t think it helps too much, ”said the official.
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He also said that the news becomes “a sales issue or a mechanism for political confrontation”, not only with the government and but with society.
“The round figure, when we reach 100 thousand (deaths), seems like a publicity attraction for such a dramatic event and is disrespectful for the people who have lost their lives and their families,” he concluded.
At the beginning of November, the director of Epidemiology, José Luis Alomía warned that in nine states an epidemic increase in the number of cases was already observed, but seven of them have exceeded their first and second epidemic peak, which he called the “regrowth effect” .
“We call them the regrowth effect because at the time this increase in their epidemic curve that they had had in recent weeks, had already surpassed their first or second peak, that is, they have an upward trend and is greater than that observed.”
Was referring to Chihuahua, Durango, Mexico City, Querétaro, Aguascalientes, Coahuila and Zacatecas, with an increase in both infections and hospitalizations.
However, until this November 18, only Chihuahua and Durango returned to a red light due to the increase in infections, while Mexico City, with an increase, has established greater restrictions on economic activities, but still maintains the traffic light in orange.
Guerrero, State of Mexico, Hidalgo, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Colima, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Nuevo León, Coahuila, Sonora and Sinaloa are also in orange.
Only Campeche has a green traffic light and eleven other states are in yellow (Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tlaxcala, Puebla, Morelos, Tamaulipas, Nayarit and Michoacán).
However, the change in the traffic light that is reflected in the permitting or restriction of activities, is a decision that goes through the economic factor, since stopping industries and businesses impacts the economy of each state and, therefore, in the citizens.
That is why, for example, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed a decree to advance the delivery of the Christmas bonus for bureaucrats from November 9, prior to the Good End, which will last until November 20.
Although this is expected to reactivate the economy, they have also brought an increase in the influx of people in the streets, according to newspaper reports.
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