Health specialists warned that vacationers leaving for Easter Week would bring with them the third wave of contagions that could affect the health of 6 out of every 10 Mexicans who are currently unprotected against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
MEXICO (El Universal) – For Malaquías López Cervantes, professor of Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine (FM) of the UNAM, there has been no emphatic call from government authorities at different levels to warn about the risk of the wave of contagions, which he pointed out is inevitable at this point due to the recorded outbreaks.
“I believe that there have been a series of very relaxed decisions, which do not make the population understand enough; we are facing a major problem. I believe that the warning sent by the authorities should have been much more empathetic, much clearer. Also, through all channels, all levels of authority should have inhibited the danger we are facing now, and I believe it could cost us dearly” the expert considered.
He indicated that the only thing left for the authorities to do to be highly vigilant to comply with the measures in vacation centers and not break with rules such as capacity and healthy distance. Still, he pointed out that the challenge is evident in the number of people leaving their homes to go to various destinations.
He commented that when this concession has been granted to their inhabitants in other countries, preventive measures have been broken.
“When very high numbers of vacationers arrived, well, the situation got very ugly. It became that atmosphere of lack of control, people disobeying and overexposing themselves. So, I don’t see why we could not live in a similar situation, and we have to be prepared. I believe that there is practically nothing we can do to change the future, which is so close because Easter is already upon us. There are thousands and thousands of people who have already made preparations to leave on a trip. It is not going to be possible to avoid the contagion caused by this population change,” he added.
He specified that, based on estimates, the population that has reached immunity through contagion or vaccination is 40 percent, so the remaining 60 percent are at risk of contracting the virus and spreading it among their contacts.
“At the beginning of January, it was said that a national serological survey had shown that there were more than 20 million people who already had antibodies from natural infections, I believe that this proportion has already risen considerably, and we are going to assume that it has already increased to 30 percent or maybe even 40 percent.
“So, that would mean that we still have about six out of 10 who are still susceptible; 40 million immune people, but even so, it is said that 6 out of 10 is still very large, and those are the people who could still become infected and get sick,” he said.
Meanwhile, Xavier Tello, a Health Policies specialist, pointed out that it will be the two weeks after Easter when we will start to see this increase in the number of cases, which, he predicted, will be high.
“Our vaccination is minimal. It is infinitesimal. There is no way to protect ourselves. So, people will get infected again, with the same virus and in the same way. I expect there will be a rebound and a significant rebound 10 or 15 days after Easter. We are surely going to see it,” he warned.
He called on the population not to consider the light traffic color as the risk of contagion, pointing out that it is primarily based on hospital capacity.
“The traffic lights went down in color because we have to maintain an active economy, but in that sense, this comes with a cost, and this is normal in all epidemics. The problem is that with the large number of contagions that there will surely be in Easter, we are going to have again after Easter a very high growth in contagions.
“They are not in the red because an important percentage of the traffic light comes from your available hospital capacity. A big part of the equation in Mexico of the account to get your traffic light is your number of available beds. It is not because we have low contagion. At the moment, we have the traffic lights in orange because the patients were discharged or, unfortunately, many of them died in January, and now we have more availability, but that does not mean that people cannot become infected,” he insisted.
He pointed out that in countries such as Germany, the risk parameters have been redesigned. Now, they have set as a measure to reach 35 contagions per 100,000 inhabitants, which in Mexico he considered cannot be done because there is still not enough evidence.
“The traffic light used in Mexico is not an indicator that you cannot become infected. The traffic light is an indicator of the response capacity that you can have with people,” he explained.