59,106 Deaths, 543,806 Positive CasesBy Ricardo Guzman | Thu, 08/20/2020 - 21:10
The Ministry of Health reported 625 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 59,106. A further 6,775 infections since yesterday were confirmed increasing the national total to 543,806 positive cases of which 41,916 are estimated active, or with symptoms in the last 14 days.
Director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomía said that of the 31,752 beds for COVID-19 cases 12,151 are occupied. The states with the highest occupancy of beds are Nayarit, Nuevo León, Colima, Coahuila and Mexico City.
On the other hand, Colima leads the occupation of ICU (or beds with ventilators), followed by Nuevo Leon, Yucatan, San Luis Potosi and Aguascalientes. There are 3,503 ICU in use of the 10,648 all over Mexico.
During today’s briefing the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) research head Simón Barquera said that deaths from diabetes could reach a million by 2030 in Mexico. While addressing the new labeling for junk food, Barquera said that just sugary drinks cause more than 40,000 deaths annually in Mexico.
As of Thursday, August 20
6,775 new cases (from yesterday)
543,806 confirmed cases nationwide
82,786 under investigation
Impact on markets (19.30 hrs)
US Dollar MX$22.16 (0.49%)
BMV IPC 38,707.23 (-0.81%)
Dow Jones 27,739.73 (0.17%)
Ebrard calls for global arrangement
The COVID-19 pandemic will be a long, intense battle in many fields, but there is optimism to face it, Minister Foreign Affairs (SRE) Marcelo Ebrard said. "We can be reasonably optimistic because it is not the first time that we are in a situation where international cooperation is so obviously necessary and multilateral efforts most required,” he said in a webinar on multilateralism. The Chancellor said that it is necessary to move to a new global arrangement. “Reality leads us to a scenario where great international cooperation would be required,” he said.
100 million more in extreme poverty
World Bank head David Malpass warned that the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 may already have led more than 100 million people into extreme poverty, much higher than the previous estimate of 60 million. “Now, the new estimate is from 70 to 100 million, and that number could go up,” Malpass warned. The combination of job lost and food supply problems food will drive the increase.
CCE calls to fight junk food initiative
Business Coordinating Council (CCE) head Carlos Salazar asked the country's mayors to become a “line of defense” against regulations that seek to prohibit the sale of “junk” food to minors. Before the National Conference of Municipalities of Mexico (CONAMM), Salazar called them to fight regulations imposed to reduce obesity, on if the main COVID-19 comorbidities. Legislators from Oaxaca and Tabasco already approved the restriction, while the measure is analyzed in Mexico City, Veracruz, Chihuahua, Colima, Jalisco and State of Mexico.
Johnson & Johnson seeks 60,000 volunteers
Johnson & Johnson is seeking to test its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in up to 60,000 volunteers in a late stage, scheduled to start in September, according to clinicaltrials.gov. The trial would be conducted in nearly 180 locations in the US and other countries, including Brazil and Mexico. Rival makers of potential vaccines such as Moderna and Pfizer are seeking to recruit up to 30,000 volunteers for their end-stage studies, Reuters reported.
Hospitalizations rise in Mexico City
Mexico City’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased, which is one of the main indicators for the epidemiological traffic light, Head of Government Claudia Sheinbaum said. The official explained that due to this increase they will observe how cases and hospitalization evolve in the following days to further assess restrictions or to open more economic activities.
WHO discusses vaccine with Russia
The World Health Organization's (WHO) Europe office has started talks with Russia regarding the COVID-19 vaccine approved last week without trials normally required in other countries. WHO official Catherine Smallwood said discussions are primarily on how the organization is going to assess the potential vaccine. WHO Europe Head Hans Kluge said that while any potential vaccine is good news, all must go through the same assessments.
Survey forecast 9.9 percent contraction
The Mexican economy will have a 9.9 percent contraction this year, according to the latest Citibanamex survey conducted with 26 financial institutions. The forecast is in line with that estimated in the latest survey by Banxico, where a 9.9 percent drop in GDP was expected for 2020. The previous Citibanamex survey forecasted a 9.8 percent contraction.