Mexico to Update Epidemiological Map System
Despite cases of COVID-19 having risen by 501 percent over the last 14 days, 19 of the country’s 32 states remain classified under the “green” lowest-risk classification in the epidemiology traffic light system, causing some to underplay the seriousness of current spreads as govern-sanctioned safety protocols remain the same.
The Omicron variant is causing COVID-19 infections to rise drastically. Mexico City's 386 percent rise is one of its worst spikes of the last two years. Despite this, Mexico City is one of the states classified as “green” in the epidemiological map.
Currently, no states are in red while only three, Baja California Sur, Chihuahua and Tamaulipas, are in the less severe orange. Ten states, which are Aguascalientes, Baja California, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Sonora, Yucatan and Zacatecas, are in yellow. Most of Mexico’s population lives in one of the 19 states labeled green, the lowest-risk classification: Campeche, Chiapas, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, State of Mexico, Tabasco, Tlaxcala and Veracruz.
These labels may seem contradictory when considering these states’ climbing cases. For example, the two states with the highest increases in case percentages, Nayarit with an 1,800 percent rise and Oaxaca with an increase of 1,683 percent, are labeled green in the epidemiological traffic light.
Red labels are given to states where hospitals have a 65 percent or higher occupancy rates or have seen a steady increase of cases for two weeks in a row. Orange is designated to states with 50 to 65 percent hospital occupancy rate and with two weeks of a low increase. Yellow is given to states where hospitals are at less than half capacity and have seen a low increase in case numbers. Green is reserved for states with less than half-filled-hospitals and a stable low rise in cases for a month.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum on Friday predicted the city would remain “green” for the two following weeks, as the current system changes a state’s status on a two-weeks basis. For this, Sheinbaum clarified, the Federal Ministry of Health is working on adjusting the epidemiological map system to the Omicron variant to better determine safety protocols under the new pandemic climate in which everything, from contagions to recoveries, moves faster.
Mexico City’s classification will not be updated until next week but it is unclear whether the epidemiological system for determining colors and subsequent protocols will have been updated by then or not. Eduardo Clark, Director, Digital Government, confirmed the current status of Mexico City as green until further notice.
The new measures for determining the status of different states will take into account not only case numbers but hospital availability as well as vaccination rates. The pandemic has long evolved since the original measures were set, leading to different relationships between case numbers and health effects on the population. Future epidemiological maps will reflect this new relationship.