How COVID-19 Traveled to MexicoBy Cas Biekmann | Tue, 03/31/2020 - 13:43
To understand how a virus spreads, its origins need to be examined. After it originated in Wuhan, COVID-19 inevitably spread across the globe. Shedding light on the transmission of the virus, its carriers and the contagion timeline can provide valuable insight on how COVID-19 went viral in Mexican society.
The first case of COVID-19 in Mexico was reported by La Jornada and other news sources to be a 35-year-old man from Mexico City who had recently visited Italy on February 28. The report came one day after a first suspected case tested negatively. The second man who tested positive was from Hidalgo, although he tested positive in Sinaloa and received medical attention in isolation in that state. A third case was confirmed on February 28. On February 29, a fourth Mexican was confirmed to have the virus after visiting Italy.
During this phase, the spread of the disease did not yet happen on a daily basis. Interestingly, the following confirmed case on March 1 was registered in Chiapas. It was a young man who had studied together with an earlier confirmed carrier in Italy. Up until March 11, all cases had come from Italy. As the virus spread to Queretaro, four new cases were reported from people who had visited Spain. Following this news, the balance started to shift. El Universal reported that Italy was no longer ground-zero for the virus. Instead Spain and the US became a primary source for the virus. Phase 2, which started last week, marked the point when travel became less important for Mexico’s COVID-19 phases. Travel bans were put into effect in Europe and the Mexican Ministry of Health began to exercise more caution. Instead, the virus spread among Mexicans, with confirmations rising by over a 100 per day according to numbers from the Ministry of Health.
Whether actions such as suspending public events, closing offices and working from home or others will be successful remains to be seen. At the moment, international travel’s role in spreading the virus will be of less importance. Now, everything is in the hands of local authorities to stop the spread of COVID-19.