Could the fourth wave of COVID surge in our country? (Opinion)

FILE PHOTO: A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19

by Enrique Quintana

The representative in Mexico of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Monday, Nov. 15th, that it was likely that in the months of December and January a new wave of COVID could surge in our country.

How feasible is the above?

Let’s first look at some international trends.

According to the data of the seven-day averages, calculated by the site Our World in Data, the minimum level of infections globally occurred on October 15 , with a figure of around 403 thousand new cases per day.about:blank

Since then the trend has been markedly bullish. On November 12, a figure of 484 thousand new cases was registered, which implies an increase of 20 percent in just over a month.

If this trend were to continue throughout December and January, in the middle of the first month of 2022 we would have a level of contagion of about 700 thousand per day, which would imply a higher level than the peak that occurred in the third wave on August 24 when it reached about 660 thousand new infections per day.

As on other occasions, the behavior of the pandemic is very different depending on the region of the world.

The clearest case of rebound is now occurring in Russia, which seems to have reached its peak of this fourth wave in the first days of November with about 40 thousand new infections per day. The new lockdown appears to be taking effect and there is already a slight downward trend.

However, the current level is still 36 percent above the previous high that came in December.

Another critical case is that of Europe. As a whole, the region has about 270 thousand new infections per day and is already only 5 percent below the maximum of the entire pandemic that occurred in November of last year. The main headline of the newspaper El País in Spain yesterday reflects this fact: “Tough restrictions return to Europe due to the new wave of covid.”

Several countries implement confinement schemes to try to stop the contagion.

There are other cases in which the regrowth has not been so relevant.

For example, in the United States, although the downward trend was interrupted as of October 24, cases have not skyrocketed, as has happened in Europe.

In India, another of the countries in which we had a crisis derived from the Delta variant in the first months of this year, infections continue to decline.

In the case of Brazil, although the fall has already been interrupted, no rebound has yet been observed.

What is the situation in Mexico?

As in Brazil and the United States, the downward trend seems to have already stopped, but a rebound in new infections has not yet been observed.

However, the warning made by PAHO is pertinent. Rebounds have been observed in populations with higher vaccination rates than in Mexico, so the possibility of a fourth wave being detonated should not be ruled out at all.

Better to assume the risks that we continue to have in our environment.

The most recent vaccination data in our country indicate that only 49 percent of the total population is immunized with the complete scheme, while another 9.5 percent has at least one dose.

That is, there is 41.5 percent of the population to which not even a single dose was applied.

Approximately 33 percent of the total population corresponds to those under 18 years of age, which means that about 16 percent of the population are adults who do not have their complete vaccination schedule, that is, about 20 million people.

In other countries the issue of vaccination is already being discussed, even for those under 11 years of age, while in Mexico the government is litigating a court order that instructed it to vaccinate those under 18 years of age.

In other countries the issue is the application of the booster vaccine starting with older adults, in our country, the authority has not even considered that possibility.

We would like to think that in Mexico we are different and that we will not have a fourth wave here, but the reality is that the chances of it occurring are unfortunately very high.

We better be prepared.



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