Mexican health officials are undercounting the number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases nationwide by ignoring totals from private hospitals. The practice was exposed by some states as they release their own counts containing public and private hospital data.
During a nightly news conference, Mexico’s Undersecretary of Health Hugo Lopez Gatell and his staff said the “official” number of confirmed cases is 15,529 with 1,434 fatalities.
Conferencia de Prensa:#Coronavirus#COVID19| 27 de abril de 2020#UnidosSaldremosAdelante https://t.co/9OjgYDS3AD
— SALUD México (@SSalud_mx) April 27, 2020
For almost two months, Lopez Gatell has held nightly news conferences to share fresh statistics and other announcements. However, figures released by states show almost twice as many cases in those regions in contrast to the federal numbers.
The most recent federal figures for the border state of Tamaulipas show 287 cases. The Tamaulipas Health Secretariat on the same day claimed 419 cases. Similarly, border state Nuevo Leon shows 284/636 in federal/state contrasts. Baja California, Jalisco, and Chihuahua show similar discrepancies with Mexico City’s data claims.
In a recent interview, Lopez Gatell admitted that federal metrics do not account for private hospitals–but they would soon.
Mexican health officials have only tested 71,103 in government hospitals. According to Lopez Gatell, Mexico used a poll-like system to estimate the true scope of the pandemic. The last estimate of more than 55,900 cases took place on April 16. The health official has provided a reason for no longer revealing the weekly estimate.