Mexico Stops Giving Estimates of the Coronavirus Pandemic’s True Scope

Mexico Coronavirus
Mexico's Health Secretariat

Mexican health officials stopped providing weekly estimates of the number of cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that provide what they believe to be the true reach of the pandemic. Instead, officials are simply providing the daily number of confirmed cases. Mexico has only carried out 65,500 tests nationwide, while other countries have tested their population in much larger numbers.

During their nightly news conference, Mexico’s Undersecretary of Health, Hugo Lopez Gatell, and his staff revealed the number of confirmed cases had risen to 13,842 while fatalities reached 1,305. The figure that health officials did not give during the briefing was the number of estimated cases — a figure that they claimed they would be giving each Thursday.

The confirmed cases are only a fraction of the cases in Mexico, Lopez Gatell said in previous news conferences where he has spoken about Mexico’s Sentinel model. The model is similar in practice to an opinion poll. Rather than take a large number of tests, health officials multiply the number of confirmed cases by a specific number based on population density and other factors to get an estimate of the total number of cases nationwide.

Since health officials first revealed their estimates, the number of confirmed cases is multiplied by 8 to reach what they believe is the true reach of the pandemic in Mexico. Health officials released the first estimate on April 8, when the number of confirmed cases was at 3,181 and they placed the real number at approximately 26,500, Breitbart Texas reported.

The following week, on April 16, health officials revealed that the number of estimated cases rose by 47 percent in one week. During that news conference, health officials pointed to 55,950 estimated cases nationwide, Breitbart Texas reported.

Despite promising to deliver the weekly figures, health officials have not revealed the most recent estimates of coronavirus cases in Mexico. During their nightly news conference, neither Lopez Gatell nor his staff mentioned the figures. Rather, they largely focused their conferences on government promotional campaigns encouraging Mexicans to stay home and to keep a safe distance.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.     

 

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