Mexico’s COVID cases are increasing, especially in tourist hotspots | Coronavirus pandemic news

The number of infections in Mexico’s Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur, popular with tourists, is increasing.

COVID-19 infections are on the rise Across Mexico, Especially in the two coastal states, which are home to major tourist destinations and are very busy during the holidays.

According to data from the Mexican government, tourists flock to Cancun, Tulum, and other attractions along the Mayan Riviera in Quintana Roo, and Baja California Sur, which attracts beach tourists to the Pacific Twin Resorts that make up Los Cabos. It is experiencing some of the highest total number of infections since the outbreak began.

There were 700 new infections in Baja California Sur on December 29, while the previous high in July was less than 600, while Quintana Roo increased from 27 on December 20 to 484 8 days later. Cases, but still below the one-day high of 574 cases in August.

During the holidays, the seafront and beaches of the capital La Paz Baja California Sur It inhabits the Sea of ​​Cortez and is crowded with tourists. At the beginning of the pandemic, they have been closed.

Further south Los CabosAccording to the Mexican Ministry of Tourism, during the week of Christmas, the hotel’s capacity reached 75%.

Al Jazeera’s Manuel Rapalo reported in Mexico City that some public health experts and ordinary people have already Questioned the country’s pandemic response In view of the recent increase in the number of infections.

Rapallo said Mexico is one of the few countries that “does not require a negative test for COVID-19 on tourists entering the country.” This policy increases the number of tourists but may result in public health costs.

Isrrael Coto, a hotel restaurant manager in La Ventana, about 32 kilometers (20 miles) south of La Paz, told the Associated Press: “In December, January, tourism started to take off.” “People are tired of confinement. “

School delays

Mexico went through Worst moment In the pandemic about a year ago, when hospitals were overwhelmed and confirmed by tests, the daily number of COVID-19 deaths exceeded 1,400.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the country has recorded more than 3.99 million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. University, And more than 299,580 people died from the virus.The authorities stated that the actual number of cases and deaths is May be much higher However, better than official statistics.

“This new variant [Omicron] Very contagious, but fortunately it does not require hospitalization, and we have not seen an increase in deaths,” the president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Said on Tuesday.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 57% of the population is now fully vaccinated.Mexico also started to give The third booster dose Vulnerable groups, including the elderly and health workers. Teachers will start accepting boosters in the next few days.

An immigrant woman vaccinated against the coronavirus at the U.S.-Mexico borderIn August, an immigrant woman camping at the El Chaparral border port of entry with a gesture from the United States to perform a COVID jab as a health worker [File: Jorge Duenes/Reuters]

At the same time, the increase in the number of infections has caused more than a dozen of Mexico’s 32 states to postpone returning to school after the holidays. Although many students return to school on Monday, other states including Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur have postponed the start date to January 17.

The state of Mexico, including the suburbs of the capital, and major population centers such as Guadalajara and Monterrey, have also seen an increase in infection rates.

Local governments have also stepped up testing efforts again. In La Paz this week, there was a long queue outside the COVID-19 testing center.

Mexico has kept its borders open throughout the pandemic, although traffic on the shared border with the United States has decreased Limited to basic movements Until November. The airport does require passengers to fill out health forms, and many people were checking their temperature at one time.