Mexico becomes the fourth country in the world with the most deaths caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

The country led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador has surpassed Italy in the number of deaths
Doctors and nurses assist patients infected with COVID-19 at the Juarez de Mexico Hospital in Mexico City on July 8, 2020

AFP/ RODRIGO ARANGUA  -   Doctors and nurses assist patients infected with COVID-19 at the Juarez de Mexico Hospital in Mexico City on July 8, 2020

"Be calm, be quiet, we have the capacity to deal with this situation."  It was February when Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador pronounced these words without being aware that just four months later, his country would surpass Italy in the number of deaths, becoming the fourth country in the world with the most deaths from the pandemic. 

"In Mexico, there are 299,750 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 29,839 active cases, 74,563 suspects and 35,006 deaths," the Health Ministry announced in a technical report broadcast on the social network Twitter.  With this number of deaths, Mexico has surpassed Italy and has positioned itself in fourth place behind the United States, Brazil and the United Kingdom, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. 

During the day of this Sunday have been registered 276 deaths and about 4,482 infections in the country. In terms of the number of infections, Mexico has positioned itself in seventh place after surpassing the United Kingdom on Saturday. According to the Health Ministry, this new number of deaths represents an increase of 0.79 percent compared to 34,730 the previous day. The focus of the pandemic in this country is in Mexico City, State of Mexico, Tabasco, Puebla and Veracruz.

Before these data were known, Lopez Obrador met with the health cabinet to analyze this situation and said that "it is losing intensity". "I want to convey to you that the report is positive, it is good. The conclusion is that the pandemic is going down, that it is losing intensity. We have availability to receive patients. The other pandemic is the sensationalism of the conservative media, which is why we must continue to report, as they compare Mexico with other countries. Today I want to transmit tranquility because we are professionally improving this pandemic," he said, according to statements collected by CNN. 

El presidente mexicano Andrés Manuel López Obrador durante su conferencia de prensa diaria en el Palacio Nacional
PHOTO/ZUMA - Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during his daily press conference at the National Palace

In spite of the circumstances, the Mexican president has been optimistic. "We are still facing two crises: the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn. We will move forward," he said on Twitter. In this scenario, the Mexican Social Security Institute has reported that the country's economy has lost around 1.18 million formal jobs due to the measures adopted to prevent the spread of this pathogen. "As a result of the effects of the health emergency, in June there was a monthly decrease of 83,311 jobs, equivalent to a monthly rate of -0.4%," they said. The sectors that have continued to grow despite the circumstances have been agriculture, social services and electricity. 

In this same statement, the Mexican Social Security Institute has stated that the base salary of contribution of workers affiliated to this entity reached the amount of $407.3 Mexican pesos. "This salary represents a nominal annual increase of 8.1, which is the highest recorded for a month of June in the last ten years and, since January 2019, the base salary of contribution records nominal annual growth of over 6.0%," they stressed.  The economic and political instability has created the perfect scenario for the emergence of protests against the country's president. Throughout this weekend, hundreds of Mexicans have taken to the streets of different cities, including the capital, to demand the resignation of the president. This demonstration has taken place "on wheels" and has been called "claxonazo". 

Over the past few weeks, several studies have reported that deaths from coronavirus in the country's capital could be three times the numbers recognized by the government.  The battle of numbers is being fought as the country has begun the process of returning to a so-called new normality. According to the traffic light system established in the country to move towards the new normality - composed of four colors (red, orange, yellow and green) - at least 14 states are still in a red state of maximum risk while 18 entities are in the orange state.   

Migrants and host communities are two of the sectors of the population most affected by this pandemic in Mexico. The International Organization for Migration announced on Sunday that health teams led by Mexican doctors are conducting regular check-ups in temporary hotel accommodations in Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana. "What we are doing is a benefit to the community: migrants have suffered as many of us have from this pandemic. With this support, we make sure they are not out on the streets," said Leticia Chavarría Villa, a doctor who coordinates a six-person medical team in Ciudad Juárez.

"The health team not only receives immigrants at the entrance. They are checked twice a day. If treatment is needed, we take care of it," she said. After spending two weeks under observation in these temporary accommodations, people without symptoms are transferred to shelters. "IOM believes that diseases like COVID-19 pose a risk to millions of people worldwide, regardless of their nationality," stressed Jeremy MacGillivray, Deputy Head of IOM's Mission in Mexico. "We believe that the best way to mitigate the risks involved is through supportive and inclusive approaches to people on the move and, in the case of migrants, by providing access to services and care regardless of their migration status".