Although infections have stayed low in Mexico as the Omicron variant drives unprecedented surges worldwide, a 150 percent increase in the daily case average over the last 14 days confirms the beginning of the fourth wave of COVID-19 in the country.
Through an official statement, the Institute for Security and Social Services for Workers of the State (ISSSTE) warned hospitals and clinics across the country to begin preparing for a surge of patients seeking diagnostics and treatment. “The constant increase over the last couple of days for cases with slight clinical manifestations and outpatient care in the national territory indicate that we are in the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in our country,” the statement says.
Following international information regarding the playout of Omicron waves in various countries, ISSSTE advises health workers to prepare for a surge in bronchitis clinic indicators as opposed to pulmonary, which will also increase the demand for ambulatory attention. The statement also acknowledges the lessened severity of Omicron cases as opposed to Delta, particularly because the variant is believed to impact the lungs less severely. However, ISSSTE notes that the Delta variant has not been eliminated and could also lead to a surge in cases.
The statement also asks health professionals to prioritize patients’ health and, in the case of not counting with medical equipment, to find a way to acquire the needed equipment locally and to worry about processing the required paperwork once the emergency has been handled. This comes as the Ministry of Health faces criticism due to a medicine shortage across the country many are attributing to poor distribution.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador plans to address this issue by having the national guard distribute all medications in the country. The national guard is performing a trial run in Nayarit and its development will determine the project’s expansion. The president also denied today the arrival of a fourth wave in the country, pointing to the low hospitalization numbers.
Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche have reported the highest increases in COVID-19 cases during the past two weeks, reporting increases of 1,601 percent, 1,171 percent and 1,107 percent, respectively. Baja California Sur and Mexico City have the highest daily average cases with 499 and 1,552 respectively. Experts point out the correlation between hotspots in the country and tourism areas, as Mexico has not imposed popular entry restrictions such as a negative test within the last 24 hours or a quarantine period.
Fortunately, deaths caused by the virus remain on the decline even as cases rise drastically. The past 14 days have seen a 38 percent decrease in death rates, which have also remained low worldwide compared to previous waves of infections.