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Coronavirus News & Updates

Corona Virus Live Updates

Falcon29

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75,000 cases in the US now after New York reports 6,500 new cases. Overall number could increase by another 5,000 or more by tonight once rest of states report their numbers. Our numbers will reach hundreds of thousands easily, which makes me wonder how China is reporting so few new cases. Iran is underreporting their cases too. Many nations are not testing enough as well.

We are now doing a lot of testing and the states are in charge so we get more realistic numbers and aren't trying to hide them. The thing is people with symptoms are getting tested and there are more out there without symptoms that aren't tallied up in the total.

So the true number in China has to be in hundreds of thousands if not millions. And the true number in Iran is close to a hundred thousand if not more. That 29,000 total cases figure is nonsense.
 

Falcon29

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Death toll is low because healthcare systems have not yet been overwhelmed at least in most places around the world. By mid April there will be millions or more of cases and once healthcare systems can no longer take on the burden, death toll will rise quickly.

Global confirmed cases:
 

Falcon29

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Basically some countries are passing off coronavirus cases as pneumonia or flu cases to avoid having to shutdown the country and face big economic repercussions:

 

mtime7

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They expect it to peak in the US beginning of May, (least that is what I am told by medical personnel) my guess would be the countries that are ahead of us will peak sooner.

Now that I am thinking about this, this was told to me a couple weeks ago, I wonder if all the measures being taken now change equation.
 

mtime7

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Not sure how accurate this is


Reporter Alex Berenson summarized this reversal in a series of tweets, and it is great news for anyone who is looking for the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel".

Here is the easy-to-read text version of his tweets that you can see below:

1/ This is a remarkable turn from Neil Ferguson, who led the Imperial College authors who warned of 500,000 UK deaths - and who has now himself tested positive for #COVID;
2/ He now says both that the U.K. should have enough ICU beds and that the coronavirus will probably kill under 20,000 people in the U.K. - more than 1/2 of whom would have died by the end of the year in any case bc they were so old and sick.
3/ Essentially, what has happened is that estimates of the viruses transmissibility have increased - which implies that many more people have already gotten it than we realize - which in turn implies it is less dangerous.
4/ Ferguson now predicts that the epidemic in the U.K. will peak and subside within “two to three weeks” - last week’s paper said 18+ months of quarantine would be necessary.
5/ One last point here: Ferguson gives the lockdown credit, which is *interesting* - the UK only began ita lockdown 2 days ago, and the theory is that lockdowns take 2 weeks or more to work.
6/ Not surprisingly, this testimony has received no attention in the US - I found it only in UK papers. Team Apocalypse is not interested.
This is important because the US is far ahead of the UK in terms of lockdown strategies. If the UK cases are now projected to "peak" in 2-3 weeks, we here in the states are not far behind.
 

Falcon29

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They expect it to peak in the US beginning of May, (least that is what I am told by medical personnel) my guess would be the countries that are ahead of us will peak sooner.

Now that I am thinking about this, this was told to me a couple weeks ago, I wonder if all the measures being taken now change equation.
The thing is we don't really know enough to determine a timeline for the virus and recovery period. This is because China was not transparent and reported a near miraculous, sudden recovery. So we now have to rely on our own experience with this or observe Italy/France to see how it plays out for them. Nearing peak doesn't mean we can return to normal, still quite a few of people get infected. And we don't know if the virus can make a resurgence quickly after returning to normalcy. Unless of course you trust what China is saying. Then there doesn't seem to be problems.

But they did just ban all travel into China to limit spread of the virus, so there you go, lol.
 

mtime7

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2238578-uk-has-enough-intensive-care-units-for-coronavirus-expert-predicts

UK has enough intensive care units for coronavirus, expert predicts
HEALTH 25 March 2020
By David Adam
ICU bed

There are a limited number of ICU beds in the UK
Justin Paget
The UK should now be able to cope with the spread of the covid-19 virus, according to one of the epidemiologists advising the government.
Neil Ferguson at Imperial College London gave evidence today to the UK’s parliamentary select committee on science and technology as part of an inquiry into the nation’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

He said that expected increases in National Health Service capacity and ongoing restrictions to people’s movements make him “reasonably confident” the health service can cope when the predicted peak of the epidemic arrives in two or three weeks. UK deaths from the disease are now unlikely to exceed 20,000, he said, and could be much lower.



The need for intensive care beds will get very close to capacity in some areas, but won’t be breached at a national level, said Ferguson. The projections are based on computer simulations of the virus spreading, which take into account the properties of the virus, the reduced transmission between people asked to stay at home and the capacity of hospitals, particularly intensive care units.

Read more: UK has enough intensive care units for coronavirus, expert predicts

The Imperial model has played a key role in informing the UK’s coronavirus strategy, but this approach has been criticised by some. “To be fair, the Imperial people are the some of the best infectious disease modellers on the planet,” Paul Hunter at the University of East Anglia, UK, told New Scientist last week. “But it is risky to put all your eggs in a single basket.”

Ferguson said the current strategy was intended to keep transmission of the virus at low levels until a vaccine was available. Experts say that could take 12 to 18 months and Ferguson acknowledged it was impractical to keep the UK in lockdown for so long, especially because of the impact on the economy. “We’ll be paying for this year for decades to come,” he said.

The UK government is aiming to relax restrictions on people’s movements only when the country has the ability to test more people for the virus, said Ferguson. Some have criticised the UK for not following the advice of the World Health Organization to “test, test, test”. But Ferguson said community testing and contact tracing wasn’t included as a possible strategy in the original modelling because not enough tests were available.

He said the UK should have the testing capacity “within a few weeks” to copy what South Korea has done and aggressively test and trace the general population.



Read more: UK has enough intensive care units for coronavirus, expert predicts

New data from the rest of Europe suggests that the outbreak is running faster than expected, said Ferguson. As a result, epidemiologists have revised their estimate of the reproduction number (R0) of the virus. This measure of how many other people a carrier usually infects is now believed to be just over three, he said, up from 2.5. “That adds more evidence to support the more intensive social distancing measures,” he said.

His comments come as a team at the University of Oxford released provisional findings of a different model that they say shows that up to half the UK population could already have been infected. The model is based on different assumptions to those of Ferguson and others involved in advising the UK government.

Most importantly, it assumes that most people who contract the virus don’t show symptoms and that very few need to go to hospital. “I don’t think that’s consistent with the observed data,” Ferguson told the committee.



Read more: UK has enough intensive care units for coronavirus, expert predicts
 

mtime7

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Coronavirus could kill 81,000 in U.S., subside in June -Washington University analysis
by Reuters
Friday, 27 March 2020 00:00 GMT
ABOUT OUR HUMANITARIAN CRISES COVERAGE
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By Carl O'Donnell
March 26 (Reuters) - The coronavirus pandemic could kill more than 81,000 people in the United States in the next four months and may not subside until June, according to a data analysis done by University of Washington School of Medicine.
The number of hospitalized patients is expected to peak nationally by the second week of April, though the peak may come later in some states. Some people could continue to die of the virus as late as July, although deaths should be below epidemic levels of 10 per day by June at the latest, according to the analysis.
The analysis, using data from governments, hospitals and other sources, predicts that the number of U.S. deaths could vary widely, ranging from as low as around 38,000 to as high as around 162,000.
The variance is due in part to disparate rates of the spread of the virus in different regions, which experts are still struggling to explain, said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, who led the study.
The duration of the virus means there may be a need for social distancing measures for longer than initially expected, although the country may eventually be able relax restrictions if it can more effectively test and quarantine the sick, Murray said.
The analysis also highlights the strain that will be placed on hospitals. At the epidemic's peak, sick patients could exceed the number of available hospital beds by 64,000 and could require the use of around 20,000 ventilators. Ventilators are already running short in hard-hit places like New York City.
The virus is spreading more slowly in California, which could mean that peak cases there will come later in April and social distancing measures will need to be extended in the state for longer, Murray said.
Louisiana and Georgia are predicted to see high rates of contagion and could see a particularly high burden on their local healthcare systems, he added.
The analysis assumes close adherence to infection prevention measures imposed by federal, state and local governments.
"The trajectory of the pandemic will change – and dramatically for the worse – if people ease up on social distancing or relax with other precautions," Murray said in a statement.
The analysis comes as confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States continue to mount, with the World Health Organization saying the country has the potential to become the world's new epicenter of the virus.
The coronavirus causes a respiratory illness that in a minority of severe cases ravages the lungs and can lead to death.
The United States has reported around 70,000 cases of the virus and more than 900 deaths since January. Globally, it has infected more than half a million people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The University of Washington has been at the center of the outbreak in United States, which first was detected in the state of Washington and has so far killed 100 people in that state, according to date from Johns Hopkins University. (Reporting by Carl O'Donnell; Editing by Aurora Ellis)
 

Falcon29

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Coronavirus could kill 81,000 in U.S., subside in June -Washington University analysis
by Reuters
Friday, 27 March 2020 00:00 GMT
ABOUT OUR HUMANITARIAN CRISES COVERAGE
From major disaster, conflicts and under-reported stories, we shine a light on the world’s hotspots
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Trending


By Carl O'Donnell
March 26 (Reuters) - The coronavirus pandemic could kill more than 81,000 people in the United States in the next four months and may not subside until June, according to a data analysis done by University of Washington School of Medicine.
The number of hospitalized patients is expected to peak nationally by the second week of April, though the peak may come later in some states. Some people could continue to die of the virus as late as July, although deaths should be below epidemic levels of 10 per day by June at the latest, according to the analysis.
The analysis, using data from governments, hospitals and other sources, predicts that the number of U.S. deaths could vary widely, ranging from as low as around 38,000 to as high as around 162,000.
The variance is due in part to disparate rates of the spread of the virus in different regions, which experts are still struggling to explain, said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, who led the study.
The duration of the virus means there may be a need for social distancing measures for longer than initially expected, although the country may eventually be able relax restrictions if it can more effectively test and quarantine the sick, Murray said.
The analysis also highlights the strain that will be placed on hospitals. At the epidemic's peak, sick patients could exceed the number of available hospital beds by 64,000 and could require the use of around 20,000 ventilators. Ventilators are already running short in hard-hit places like New York City.
The virus is spreading more slowly in California, which could mean that peak cases there will come later in April and social distancing measures will need to be extended in the state for longer, Murray said.
Louisiana and Georgia are predicted to see high rates of contagion and could see a particularly high burden on their local healthcare systems, he added.
The analysis assumes close adherence to infection prevention measures imposed by federal, state and local governments.
"The trajectory of the pandemic will change – and dramatically for the worse – if people ease up on social distancing or relax with other precautions," Murray said in a statement.
The analysis comes as confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States continue to mount, with the World Health Organization saying the country has the potential to become the world's new epicenter of the virus.
The coronavirus causes a respiratory illness that in a minority of severe cases ravages the lungs and can lead to death.
The United States has reported around 70,000 cases of the virus and more than 900 deaths since January. Globally, it has infected more than half a million people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The University of Washington has been at the center of the outbreak in United States, which first was detected in the state of Washington and has so far killed 100 people in that state, according to date from Johns Hopkins University. (Reporting by Carl O'Donnell; Editing by Aurora Ellis)
This means millions will get the virus in the country. We are experiencing big increases on a daily basis.
 

Falcon29

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-China bans foreign visitors
-China closes all cinemas

^^

It is still a pandemic in China

-Coronavirus spreading rapidly in the US and around the world

^^

We all may have to stay at home for the rest of summer. Virus doesn't appear to be slowing down. There will be economic and security challenges.
 

mtime7

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are Iranians educated at all?


In Iran, False Belief a Poison Fights Virus Kills Hundreds
By The Associated Press
  • March 27, 2020

TEHRAN, Iran — Standing over the still body of an intubated 5-year-old boy wearing nothing but a plastic diaper, an Iranian health care worker in a hazmat suit and mask begged the public for just one thing: Stop drinking industrial alcohol over fears about the new coronavirus.The boy, now blind after his parents gave him toxic methanol in the mistaken belief it protects against the virus, is just one of hundreds of victims of an epidemic inside the pandemic now gripping Iran. Iranian media report nearly 300 people have been killed and more than 1,000 sickened so far by ingesting methanol across the Islamic Republic, where drinking alcohol is banned and where those who do rely on bootleggers. An Iranian doctor helping the country's Health Ministry told The Associated Press on Friday the problem was even greater, giving a death toll of around 480 with 2,850 people sickened.The poisonings come as fake remedies spread across social media in Iran, where people remain deeply suspicious of the government after it downplayed the crisis for days before it overwhelmed the country.“Other countries have only one problem, which is the new coronavirus pandemic. But we are fighting on two fronts here,” said Dr. Hossein Hassanian, an adviser to Iran’s Health Ministry who gave the higher figures to the AP. "We have to both cure the people with alcohol poisoning and also fight the coronavirus.”For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.The pandemic has swept across the world, overwhelming hospitals, crippling economies and forcing governments to restrict the movements of billions of people. Particularly hard hit has been Iran, home to 80 million people. As of now, there is no known cure for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Scientists and doctors continue to study the virus and search for effective medicines and a vaccine.But in messages forwarded and forwarded again, Iranian social media accounts in Farsi falsely suggested a British school teacher and others cured themselves of the coronavirus with whiskey and honey, based on a tabloid story from early February. Mixed with messages about the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, some wrongly believed drinking high-proof alcohol would kill the virus in their bodies.

The Islamic Republic has reported over 29,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,200 deaths from the virus, the highest toll of any country in the Middle East. International experts also fear Iran may be under-reporting its cases, as officials for days played down the virus ahead of a parliamentary election.
That fear of the virus, coupled with poor education and internet rumors, saw dozens sickened by drinking bootleg alcohol containing methanol in Iran's southwestern Khuzestan province and its southern city of Shiraz. Videos aired by Iranian media showed patients with IVs stuck in their arms, laying on beds otherwise needed for the fight against the coronavirus, including the intubated 5-year-old boy. Iranian media also reported cases in the cities of Karaj and Yazd.
In Iran, the government mandates that manufacturers of toxic methanol add an artificial color to their products so the public can tell it apart from ethanol, the kind of alcohol that can be used in cleaning wounds. Ethanol is also the kind of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, though its production is illegal in Iran.
Some bootleggers in Iran use methanol, adding a splash of bleach to mask the added color before selling it as drinkable. Sometimes it is mixed with consumable alcohol to stretch supply, other times it comes as methanol, falsely advertised as drinkable. Methanol also can contaminate traditionally fermented alcohol.
Methanol cannot be smelled or tasted in drinks. It causes delayed organ and brain damage. Symptoms include chest pain, nausea, hyperventilation, blindness and even coma.
Hassanian said his figures included reports from coroner's offices around Iran also counting those who died outside of hospitals from the poisonings.
“Unfortunately in some provinces, including Khuzestan and Fars, deaths from drinking methanol has exceeded the number of deaths from the new coronavirus," he said.
Dr. Knut Erik Hovda, a clinical toxicologist in Oslo, said to expect more methanol poisoning victims.

“The virus is spreading and people are just dying off, and I think they are even less aware of the fact that there are other dangers around,” Hovda said. “When they keep drinking this, there's going to be more people poisoned.”

Even before the outbreak, methanol poisoning had taken a toll in Iran. One academic study found methanol poisoning sickened 768 people in Iran between September and October 2018 alone, killing 76.

Other Muslim nations that ban their citizens from drinking also see such methanol poisoning, although Iran appears to be the only one in the pandemic so far to turn toward it as a fake cure. In Buddhist Cambodia, police said they seized 4,200 liters (1,100 gallons) of methanol from a man who unwittingly planned to make toxic hand sanitizer because of the virus outbreak.

Muslim drinkers in Iran can be punished with cash fines and 80 lashes. However, minority Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians can drink alcoholic beverages in private.

While police occasionally announce alcohol busts, the trade in nontoxic alcohol also continues. Locally made Iranian arak from fermented raisins, known as Aragh sagi, sells for $10 for a 1.5-liter bottle. Imported vodka sells for $40 a bottle.

“Every year during Nowruz, or the Persian New Year holidays that begin March 21, my customers double," said Rafik, an Iranian-Armenian who makes vodka in the basement of his Tehran home. He spoke on the condition that only his first name be used for fear of arrest. “This year, because of corona, it jumped up by four- or five-fold.”
Farhad, a self-described heavy drinker who lives in central Tehran, said alcohol remains easy to find for those looking for it.

“Even you can find it offered when you are walking down the street, “ he said.

Since 1979, Iran's 40 alcohol factories have seen their production changed to pharmaceutical needs and sanitizers. Others had been left idle, like the abandoned Shams alcohol factory east of Tehran.

But now, in a time when even some mosques in Iran hand out high-proof alcohol as a sanitizer, officials plan to start work again at Shams to produce 22,000 liters of 99% alcohol a day.

___

Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writers Mehdi Fattahi in Tehran and Sopheng Cheang in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, contributed to this report.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
 

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Urns in Wuhan far exceed death toll, raising more questions about China’s tally
A single mortuary has had 5,000 urns delivered over the past two days, double the city's reported coronavirus death toll
by Alex Linder

March 27, 2020

in News






The reliability of China’s coronavirus numbers is under question once again in view of the staggering amount of urns being distributed out in Wuhan.
According to official Chinese government data, 50,006 people were infected with the Covid-19 virus in Wuhan with 2,535 dying from the disease.
However, Chinese investigative outlet Caixin reports that when mortuaries opened back up this week in the Hubei capital, people had to wait in line for as long as five hours to receive the remains of their loved ones lost during the epidemic.

One photo published by Caixin shows a truck loaded with 2,500 urns arriving at the Hankou Mortuary. The driver said that he had delivered the same amount to the mortuary the day before.



Another photo shows stacks of urns inside the mortuary. There were seven stacks with 500 urns in each stack, adding up to 3,500 urns.

Taken together with the new shipment, the number of urns on hand at the mortuary looks to be more than double Wuhan’s death toll.


Urns are reportedly being distributed at a rate of 500 a day at the mortuary until the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday, which falls on April 4 this year.

Wuhan has seven other mortuaries. If they are all sticking to the same schedule, this adds up to more than 40,000 urns being distributed in the city over the next 10 days.

When reporters at Bloomberg made calls to the funeral homes to check on the number of urns waiting to be collected, the mortuaries said that they either did not have that data or were not authorized to disclose it.


As the outbreak was ongoing, many viewed China’s official numbers with skepticism amid multiple revisions to the way in which cases were counted, accusing Chinese authorities of attempting to downplay the already extreme severity of the epidemic.

Considering what has happened in other countries around the world, in retrospect, China’s numbers now look even more suspect. The United States has recently surpassed China in number of reported coronavirus cases while both Italy and Spain have reported more deaths.

For its part, China has touted its aggressive quarantine measures, community action, and medical resources to explain how it managed to weather the coronavirus storm. Life is now starting to return back to normal in the country.
 

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Hugs, Kisses, Dining Out During Virus Raise Fear in Mexico
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Hugs, Kisses, Dining Out During Virus Raise Fear in Mexico
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(Bloomberg) -- In mid-March, as vast portions of humanity hunkered in coronavirus lockdown, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico was still hugging and kissing constituents. Eight days ago, he urged them to keep eating out.

Stung by global criticism and disapproving national polls, the leftist populist widely known as AMLO began to shift in recent days. He sent home nonessential state employees and urged companies to do the same; he promised no more hugs and advocated hand washing even as he urged traditional markets to remain open and kept the airports operating.
The question health experts are asking now, as the virus multiplies across his country of 129 million on the border with the U.S., is how much more destructive its path will be.
“Late, Wrong and Slow”
“Mexico’s response was late, wrong and slow, and many people are going to die,” said Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease specialist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. “There’s no reason to believe the virus here should behave differently. Cases are growing exponentially.”
The health ministry says it has followed World Health Organization guidelines and once the virus began to spread, measures were taken. Schools were closed on March 20; four days later, the country’s 51 testing sites broadened their reach. On Saturday, the deputy health minister called on Mexicans to stay home, saying it was the “last opportunity” to slow down the virus.
Asked to respond to the criticism, Jesus Ramirez, the president’s spokesman, said, “Mexico’s government has put front and center the lives of its people and has maintained a balance between health measures and protecting the economy as much as possible, especially the economy of the poor.”
Still, Mexico has tested only 7,800 people, similar to Ecuador, which has a population of 17.5 million.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Mexico stood at 848 on Saturday, nearly double four days earlier, with 16 deaths. Two governors are among the ill.
Some hospital employees are worried. Workers at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases protested earlier this month over a lack of antibacterial gel and protective gear.
Informal Economy
The dilemma faced by Lopez Obrador is that a majority of Mexicans work in the informal economy and if they don’t work, they may not be able to eat.
“I can’t not come to work,” said Juan Galindo, 68, who works in a food market in Coyoacan, a neighborhood in Mexico City’s south. “I live day by day and I only get paid if I show up.” After taking three crowded buses back home, he washes his hands and rubs alcohol on them. “There’s nothing else I can do, and I’d rather not panic.”
It’s people like Galindo who have largely driven Lopez Obrador to hesitate about ordering a shutdown. The 66-year-old politician has devoted his career to refashioning the Mexican economy to benefit his constituents -- the poor -- and keeping people from their jobs doesn’t fit into his plan or outlook.
Someone who meets regularly with AMLO said he’s never liked sudden change. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order not to alienate the president, said he’s only slowly come around to the understanding that the coronavirus requires drastic measures.
The country is also slowly coming around. Mexico City’s bustling streets look emptier and traffic has slowed. Well-off neighborhoods, where people with office jobs can do them from home, are becoming ghost towns. The restaurants that are still open have only a few tables, malls are deserted and taco and esquite street stands have seen customers dwindle.
Crowded Markets
But a large part of the city and country are comprised of people who can’t afford to stop working even for a day. So some metro lines and buses remain relatively full, some markets are still crowded and small restaurants known as “fondas” are still serving customers.
AMLO has taken an occasionally folkloric approach to the virus, pointing to amulets and honesty as the best way forward.
He’s not the only public official downplaying the risks. Last week, the governor of the State of Puebla, Miguel Barbosa, said poor people were immune to the virus because it only affected the wealthy. And Ricardo Salinas Pliego, a billionaire who sits on AMLO’s business council, called on people to keep living life.
“The decision to stop a country isn’t positive, least of all when its based on fear and on a false premise: that Covid-19 means death,” he tweeted.
Mexico, of course, is one of dozens of countries with a large population of day workers who suffer if forced to stay home. But in many others -- India, Nigeria, El Salvador -- the government has cracked down fiercely to stop the virus. In Brazil, by contrast, President Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed the risks and clashed with state governors who are taking stringent measures.
Border Protest
Some ordinary Mexicans are taking it upon themselves to increase protection especially those that live next to the U.S., which now leads the world in coronavirus cases. Last week, a group of protesters in Nogales, Sonora, sought to close the border to prevent Arizonans from coming in, a reversal of historic patterns.
The global pandemic finds Mexico in an already precarious situation. Its public health system was already battling shortages of medicines and supplies. Adding to the problem is the fact that as of 2017, Mexico only had 1.4 hospital beds per 1,000 inhabitants, lowest among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Some of the response has been based on what happened 11 years ago, when Mexico was at the epicenter of the H1N1 influenza outbreak. Then-President Felipe Calderon shut down cities for two weeks, a step that many at the time considered to be over the top (although it has been praised by international health officials since).
Lopez Obrador, who lost the 2006 presidential election to Calderon by a handful of votes, was one of those critics. The Calderon administration “generated fear, panic, they affected the country’s economy, commerce, tourism,” he said then, a sentiment that has likely helped shape his response this time around.
 

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