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August 31, 2020

The Ministry of Health reported 256 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 64,414. A further 3,719 infections since yesterday were confirmed, increasing the national total to 599,560 cases of which 38,923 are estimated to be active or symptomatic over the last 14 days.

Active cases represent 6 percent of the accumulated total, Director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomía said in today’s briefing at the National Palace. There are 77,730 suspected cases and 668,193 who have tested negative since the pandemic started. Likewise, 416,738 people have recovered from the new virus.

Alomía highlighted that Mexico has maintained a stable downward trend in infections, while other counties are struggling to handle the pandemic. He explained that Peru, the US and Brazil have the highest number of infections in the Americas, based on population size, and that India and France reported a significant increase in cases in recent weeks.

 

As of Monday, August 31

3,719 new cases (since yesterday)

599,560 confirmed cases nationwide

77,730   under investigation

64,414   deaths

 

Impact on Markets (19.30 hrs)

US Dollar              MX$21.90            (0.45%)

BMV IPC               36,840.73             (-2.52%)

Dow Jones          28,430.05             (-0.78%)

 

Peso Ends August With Gains

The peso lost some ground against the US dollar at the end of August but this did not keep the national currency from registering its second month in positive territory, Banxico reported. The weakening of the greenback in international markets favored the Mexican currency during the eight month of the year, which hit a maximum of MX$22.90 on Aug. 4 and a minimum of MX$21.74 early on Sunday, Aug. 30, during the opening of Asian markets. Overall, the peso gained 1.37 percent or 31 cents in August.

 

Mexico City Reports Stable Hospitalizations

General hospitalization for COVID-19 cases in Mexico City have remained stable over the past 15 days, Head of Government Claudia Sheinbaum said. “This is more or less constant, with ups and downs. Over the past 15 days, the same number of beds has been occupied,” Sheinbaum noted in her daily briefing.

 

Possible Reinfection Case Investigated

IMSS is still analyzing the first possible case of COVID-19 reinfection in Mexico and the profile of the 27-year-old resident whose chronic case was reported by the Immunochemical Medical Research Unit (UIMIQ).

 

COPARMEX Warns About Infrastructure Plan

For the national infrastructure plan to be successful, the federal government must invest at least 5 percent of the national GDP to encourage private capital participation, COPARMEX head Gustavo de Hoyos said.

 

Undersecretariat of Mining Terminated

Under the flag of austerity, the Ministry of Economy announced the termination of the Undersecretariat of Mining as of Sep. 1. “This measure responds to the presidential decree published on April 23, 2020 in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF),” the Ministry of Economy said in a statement.

 

US Has 25 Percent of Global COVID-19 Deaths

The US has exceeded 6 million cases of COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) database. The US is also the most affected country in total deaths at 183,000, almost 25 percent of the total deaths recorded worldwide.

 

Zoom Reports Strong Results

As it moves forward to convert its huge free userbase to paid subscriptions, Zoom Video Communications increased its annual revenue forecast by more than 30 percent after comfortably beating quarterly estimates on Monday. Zoom shares, which have nearly quadrupled this year, climbed 9.3 percent after the end of today’s trading, still boosted by a massive increase in videoconference users.

August 28, 2020

The Ministry of Health reported 552 new deaths from COVID-19 and an accumulated total of 63,146. A further 5,824 new positives cases since yesterday raised the national total to 585,738. Over 650,862 patients have tested negative to the virus so far, while 404,667 have recovered.

During today’s briefing, Health Promotion head Ricardo Cortés reported that there are 83,357 suspected cases waiting for laboratory results and that a decrease in confirmed cases is still being observed, albeit very slight. "We have an increase in the number of suspected cases. However, we continue to observe a slight decrease in confirmed cases,” he said.

ISSSTE head Luis Antonio Ramírez Pineda said the institute has a deficit of health professionals, a situation that has worsened after employees were sent home for being among the most vulnerable to the virus.

 

As of Friday, August 28

5,824 new cases (since yesterday)

585,738 confirmed cases nationwide

83,357 under investigation

63,146 deaths

 

Impact on Markets (19.30 hrs)

US Dollar              MX$21.80            (-1.36%)

BMV IPC               37,794.25             (0.39%)

Dow Jones          28,653.87             (0.57%)

 

Mexico Secures Access to 18 Vaccines

Mexico will have access to 18 ongoing COVID-19 vaccines projects through the Covax program, Minister of Foreign Affairs (SRE) Marcelo Ebrard said. “When there is a confirmation that a vaccine works, then Covax makes them available to supply between 10 and 20 percent of the needs of each country,” he explained. The Chancellor said that the Mexican government is holding bilateral talks regarding a vaccine with China, England, France, Italy, Russia, Germany and the US.

 

Mexico City Adds 10 Weeks in Orange

The following week, Mexico City will remain orange in the epidemiological traffic light “but with an alert,” Head of Government Claudia Sheinbaum reported. In her daily briefing, Sheinbaum explained that despite a sustained downward trend in hospitalizations, a mild increase was reported lately. Mexico’s capital city will remain in orange for the 10th straight week, effective from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5.

 

Guerrero, Second State in Yellow

Guerrero will move to yellow in the epidemiological traffic light starting next Monday, Gov. Héctor Astudillo said. He noted that several activities will resume and while night clubs are still under discussion. This is the second state to reach the yellow light, along with Campeche.

 

Peso Ends Week With Gains

The end of the week brought some fresh air to the peso, recovering from yesterday’s losses as the greenback weakened in today’s trading. The Mexican currency registered its third consecutive week of advances after appreciating 0.819 percent over the last five days, settling at MX$21.80, according to Banxico. In today's session, the peso appreciated 1.35 percent.

 

Merkel Warns of ‘Difficult Season’

In the coming months, the COVID-19 pandemic could get worse so people must act accordingly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned. “We have to expect that some things will be even more difficult in the coming months than in summer,” she said during her traditional briefing and noted that the health emergency “is as serious as it ever was.”

 

WHO Raises Awareness on Mental Health
Anxiety and fear are rising among people under social confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic and there is a risk that mental health services could be disrupted, WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned. “For many people, the lack of social interaction caused by the pandemic has had a profound effect on their mental health,” the official said in his daily briefing.

August 27, 2020

The Ministry of Health reported 518 new deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, rising the death toll to 62,594. A further 6,026 infections since yesterday were confirmed, increasing the national total to 579,914 positive cases of which 41,786 are estimated active or with symptoms in the last 14 days.

 

During today’s briefing, National Institute of Public Health (INSP) head Juan Ángel Rivera stated that 14 percent of children under five years of age suffer from chronic malnutrition, while a third of this group suffers from anemia.

 

As of Thursday, August 27

6,026 new cases (as of yesterday)

579,914 confirmed cases nationwide

81,597 under investigation

62,594 deaths

 

Impact on Markets (19.30 hrs)

US Dollar              MX$22.10            (0.67%)

BMV IPC               37,647.194           (-0.28%)

Dow Jones          28,492.27             (0.57%)

 

200,000 Monthly New Jobs Are Needed

Mexico needs to create 200,000 jobs per month to recover what was lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, CONCAMIN reported. Members urged the federal administration to reach a national agreement to overcome the economic crisis and strengthen the national infrastructure plan. CONCAMIN head Francisco Cervantes highlighted the need to work to regain investors’ confidence.

 

AstraZeneca Vaccine Will Be Available in April

The first batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be available in April 2021 in Latin America at US$14 for governments of the region, Grupo Insud reported. “Production gives us the guarantee to have the vaccine quickly. It is likely that the first doses will be available in April,” said the group’s Founder Hugo Sigman.

 

Putin Announces Second Russian Vaccine

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that a second COVID-19 vaccine is being developed by the Vektor Research Center in Novosibirsk and will be ready September this year. Putin highlighted that the Sputnik V vaccine, the first one globally announced, is in the process of being commercialized and that its safety and effectiveness are guaranteed.

 

LG Announces High Tech Mask

A new mask including filters, ventilators, sensor and even one with UV-LED lights to eradicate viruses was presented by the electronic giant LG. The masks feature two H13 HEPA filters used in home air purification products, two ventilators and one sensor that adjusts its speed to the user's breathing.

 

Hema Bets on E-Commerce

After adjusting its plans to open the first store in Mexico this summer, Hema announced it will start an e-commerce operation, CMO César Medina said to Milenio. Given health protocols, the Dutch retail chain decided to wait a little longer to open its stores and instead decided to focus on e-commerce supported by a 9,000m2 distribution center located in Toluca.

 

SRE Distributes Mexican Ventilators

Over 51 Mexican ventilators for COVID-19 critical patients will be distributed in 14 states in the next five days, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) reported. Devices were designed and manufactured by a group of Mexican public and private entities funded by the Mexican Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AMEXCID).

 

Pandemic Boosts E-Commerce

Driven by the extended confinement and changes in consumer habits, e-commerce will grow 60 percent this year compared to 2019 figures, Ecomsur reported. According to Latin American firm, Mexico faces major challenges related to banking access, logistics, legislation and cybersecurity.

 

August 26, 2020

The Ministry of Health reported 626 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 62,076. A further 5,267 infections were confirmed yesterday, increasing the national total to 573,888 positive cases.

During today’s briefing, Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell highlighted that there is no prejudice against the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Russia, although he admitted that the news of its fast development took him by surprise. “No one in the world knows (the vaccine’s development conditions) so far. It all depends on the vaccine’s efficacy,” he said.

Director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomía reported that all states in the country have hospital bed availability for both general hospitalization and ICU with ventilators.

Confirmed cases worldwide have escalated to over 24 million and 822,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) data.

 

As of Wednesday, August 26

5,267 new cases (as of yesterday)

573,888 confirmed cases nationwide

81,466 cases under investigation

62,076 deaths

 

Impact on markets (19.30 hrs)

US Dollar              MX$21.95            (-0.10%)

BMV IPC               37,753.04             (-1.30%)

Dow Jones          28,331.92             (1.35%)

 

Banxico Trims Growth Forecast

In 2020, Mexico will have its worst economic contraction since 1932, according to Banxico’s new forecast. The central bank estimates that in the best scenario, a “V” type recovery will drive the GDP to fall only 8.8 percent. In the worst forecast or a “deep U,” GDP will sink 12.8 percent. Meanwhile, the “deep V” recovery scenario forecasts a 11.3 percent contraction for the Mexican economy in 2020.

 

Liomont Aims for 250 Million Vaccines

Laboratorios Liomont’s plant, located in Ocoyoacac, State of Mexico, will manufacture up to 250 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, the Mexican company has reported. Vaccines will be distributed in Mexico and all other Latin American and Caribbean countries, following the agreement signed by the Carlos Slim Foundation, AstraZenaca and the University of Oxford. Clinical results of the potential vaccine, currently in Phase 3, are expected in November.

 

Mexican Stock

Contrary to strong results reported in Wall Street and other major stock markets, the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) closed today with heavy losses after IPC and BIVA plunged 1.30 and 1.21 percent respectively. While uncertainty led investors during today’s trading in Mexico, in the US the S&P500 recorded its fourth consecutive record and NASDAQ also set a new all-time high.

 

Jansen Tests Vaccine in South America

Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru were chosen by the Belgian laboratory Jansen to carry out tests of its COVID-19 vaccine on about 60,000 volunteers, according to media reports. The four nations have recorded the largest number of cases in South America, with Brazil as the second country with the most cases and deaths in the world.

 

ECLAL Warns About Digital Gaps

The COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered deep gaps in Latin America regarding internet access and digital technologies, with only a third of poor households in the region formally connected, ECLAC reported. The UN’s office stated that 66.7 percent of the region's inhabitants had an open internet connection in 2019, while the rest depended on either limited connections or had not access at all.

 

Merck’s Experimental Antiviral

Merck’s experimental antiviral pill has the potential to replace other licensed COVID-19 treatments, the company reported. Results from mid-stage studies are raising optimism among experts that the new drug will hit the market before the end of the year.

August 25, 2020

The Ministry of Health reported 650 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 61,450. A further 4,916 infections since yesterday were confirmed , which increased the national total to 568,621 positive cases.

During today’s briefing Director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomía said that since the beginning of the epidemic 97,632 health workers have been infected, with Mexico City reporting the highest number of cases followed by State of Mexico, Tabasco and Veracruz. Currently there are 4,370 active cases among health personnel. Over 1,320 health workers have died from the new virus, 49 percent of them doctors.

The current epidemiological traffic light has Campeche as the only state in yellow. Hidalgo, Aguascalientes, Colima, Nayarit, Zacatecas and Baja California Sur are in red light and the rest of the entities still in orange.

 

As of Tuesday, August 25

4,916 new cases (from yesterday)

568,621 confirmed cases nationwide

80,878   under investigation

61,450   deaths

 

Impact on markets (19.30 hrs)

US Dollar              MX$21.98            (-0.18%)

BMV IPC               38,249.90             (0.58%)

Dow Jones          28,248.44             (-0.21%)

 

Moody’s adjusts to 10 percent contraction

Moody’s adjusted its estimate of the Mexican economy for this year, as they now expect a 10 percent contraction in the GDP. In June the rating agency predicted a 7 percent drop, however they adjusted the forecasts for all G-20 countries, including Mexico.

 

US$320 billion lost in global tourism

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the global tourism industry which has lost over US$320 billion in the first five months of the year and jeopardizing more than 120 million jobs, the UN’s general secretary Antonio Guterres said. During a video briefing Guterres pointed out that tourism is the third largest sector in the global economy, and that in 2019 accounted for 7 percent of the global trade.

 

Vaccine effective for every strain

The antidote used in the Sinovac vaccine project is effective against different strains of COVID-19, the CEO of the Chinese company has reported. Interviewed by the state TV, Yin Weidong noted that their vaccine has given positive results against more than 20 different strains of COVID-19, coming from China the US, Europe or Middle East countries.

 

Sánchez Cordero warns of rise in gender violence

Confinement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has made more visible the risks that many women face in their homes due to gender violence, Minister of Interior (SEGOB) Olga Sánchez Cordero said. “Unfortunately, women continue to be abused, beaten and raped. When one woman is assaulted, they assault us all,” she noted during her participation in the Women’s Economic Forum Iberoamerica 2020.

 

Global cases declined last week

COVID-19 cases and deaths declined globally during the third week of August, with America reporting the most significant reduction, the WHO has stated. New cases reported between August 16 and 23 reached 1,742,152, a 5 percent drop compared to the previous week. America was the region with the largest decline with 11 percent, followed by Africa’s 8 percent.

 

FDA steps back on plasma

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) head Stephen Hahn admitted Monday that the agency overstated the positive results of using plasma blood from recovered patients as a treatment for COVID-19. After US President Donald Trump stated the experimental therapy was a safe choice raising criticism, now the FDA ruled out its effectiveness.

 

AMIA want dialogue to provide certainty

The automotive industry in Mexico is in full post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery, said the incoming president of the Mexican Association of the Automotive Industry (AMIA) José Guillermo Zozaya. The new rules of origin of the USMCA trade treaty, the renewal of the vehicle fleet and establishing a close dialogue with the federal administration to provide certainty and confidence for investments, stand out among the priorities, said AMIA’s new head.