A state health official in Mexico claims federal health officials are ignoring confirmed coronavirus cases that are asymptomatic and only counts cases where patients need medical attention. The claim is the latest accusation that Mexico’s government is hiding the true reach of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in that nation.
The new case of alleged undercount took place this week in the coastal state of Yucatan where state officials carried out a series of aleatory tests at two open-air markets in the city of Merida. According to information released by the Yucatan Health Department, they carried out the tests on both customers and shopkeepers alike. The tests yielded 47 positive tests for COVID-19 leading authorities to close down the markets on a temporary basis.
During a news conference, Yucatan’s Health Secretary Mauricio Sauri Vivas said that of the 47 cases, only the five symptomatic cases were loaded the national database under definitions ordered by Mexico’s federal health officials. According to El Diario de Yucatan, Sauri Vivas claimed that they were following the guidelines set forth by Mexico’s Health Secretariat that only account for the “confirmed cases that present symptoms”.
The allegations of undercounting come just days after an NGO in Mexico revealed that health officials in Mexico City were only accounting for one-third of the deaths that listed coronavirus as a cause of death. In addition to several allegations of undercounting, Mexico’s Undersecretary of Health Hugo Lopez Gatell admitted that some of his figures do not include coronavirus cases from private hospitals and only include the cases from government hospitals. The discrepancies several states to release their own figures that include both categories of cases.
To reopen the markets in Yucatan after the imposed quarantine, shopkeepers would need to implement a series of increased safety protocols. Government officials claimed that during the closing, they would provide a stipend to shopkeepers to help them get through the closing.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony Aranda from Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report