• Glenn Wilson
    How many active cases of Covid-19 are there now in SMA and how many actual cases have there been?

    The short answer is that no one knows. The number is not a secret that the government is keeping from us -- they don't know either.

    The official numbers have never been an accurate reflection of the actual number of cases here in Mexico or in SMA and that is true in many countries around the world.

    Here in Mexico the government started out with the Sentinel Surveillance System which, by design, only tested about 10% of the population that was symptomatic and showed up at certain government facilities for treatment. By design that caught only about 10% of certain cases so multiplying the official numbers by 10 would get you to about 100% of those certain cases. But that did not include people that had no symptoms, or mild cases that did not seek treatment, or, people that sought treatment at other facilities than where the sampling was occurring including private facilities. But, one could apply a factor to the official numbers in the general range of 10% to 30% (edited for typos) 10 to 30 to get a better sense of what the actual number of cases were.

    UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) has been doing analysis and publishes their estimates at UNAM Covid-19. Here is a screenshot of some of their estimates from early today, July 16, showing low and high estimates of total cases of Covid-19 in Mexico:

    Worldometer publishes Covid-19 statistics for Mexico that track the official statistics. Here are the official Covid-19 cases for Mexico as of July 16:

    By comparing these two, we can see that the low estimate for UNAM is currently about 13 times higher than the official number and the high estimate is about 36 times higher than the official estimate. SMAFAQ has done similar analysis for SMA data and was using estimates that the actual number of cases in SMA was 10 to 22 times higher than the official numbers.

    What about active cases? The number of active cases are the total cases less the number that has recovered and less the number of deaths:

    Confirmed active cases = confirmed cases - recovered - deaths.

    Very straightforward, right? Once someone gets Covid-19 they recover or die or they are still active. One could argue this might count too many people as active if they recover (or die) but somehow the system does not catch that. However, in SMA we have had the opposite problem with the official numbers: Negative active cases. According to the official statistics for SMA, at times, more people have recovered or died from Covid-19 than ever had it. For example, see the June 14 data as shown at Coronavirus Dashboard June 15, 2021:
    Confirmed active cases = confirmed cases - recovered - deaths. 2815 - 2598 - 219 = -2. So, per the official numbers, two more people have recovered or died from Covid-19 than were ever infected. In other words, something is off with the official numbers.

    Now, we have a report of a surge of people testing positive at local labs but those cases evidently not showing up in the local statistics. If you are a member of the Groups io Civil list, also see: RINGING a COVID RED ALARM SMA.

    Several possible explanations come to mind including (speculating) some of this may be explained by a lag in reporting and some may be explained if PCR tests are required to confirm a case and most people are not getting PCR tests (as opposed to the faster and cheaper AntiGen tests). Also, could it be that some labs are not reporting their results?

    If cases are going up shouldn't deaths also be going up? Two observations on that. First, deaths lag infections, so maybe that has just not happened yet. And second, with many of the most vulnerable older population vaccinated, it is expected that the fatality rate of Covid-19 will drop. See: "Vaccinate the 20% of the country that represent 95% of the deaths". So, depending on which variants might be circulating in the community and which vaccines people have had, the fatality rate may be much less, on average, than earlier in the pandemic. But, let me emphasize: depending on which variants might be circulating in the community. Also, on average does a lot of work there. What is true on average may not be true for everyone. There are still many vulnerable and unvaccinated in our communities. And, death is not the only negative outcome from Covid-19.

    The bottom line is that, in my opinion, the local official statistics have become even more disconnected from the reality and are even less reliable as an indicator of the local Covid-19 situation than they were earlier in the pandemic. I will continue to monitor them because it is possible they might catch a significant surge in the future. It is also possible, in my opinion, that we are currently experiencing a local Covid-19 surge that is not reflected in the official statistics.

    Be careful out there.

    Comments? Questions? Leave a comment below or email me at .

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    Initially published July 16, 2021.
  • Glenn Wilson
    Two Covid-19 test laboratories at the Mexico City Airport suspended.
    The Ministry of Health of the capital (Sedesa) reported that the Sanitary Protection Agency (Agepsa) suspended two Covid-19 testing laboratories, located at the Benito Juárez International Airport, for failing to comply with the recommendations they made to take samples.

    These centers were repeat offenders by not reporting their activities to the Epidemiological Surveillance System for Respiratory Diseases (Sisver), because in April they were asked to correct this anomaly, but they persisted with the non-compliance.
    El Universal (sp) | English.
    This was in Mexico City, but could this also be an issue for any labs in GTO or SMA?
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