Mexico registers thousands of COVID-19 cases in rural and indigenous communities 

Many of these communities lack basic services such as running water

Mexico registers thousands of COVID-19 cases in rural and indigenous communities 
Indigenous people often lack access to healthcare services - Photo: Fernando Llano/AP 
English 21/06/2020 13:40 Karla Rodríguez Mexico City Actualizada 13:54

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On June 17, Dr. Hugo López-Gatell, Mexico’s COVID-19 czar, announced health authorities had registered 1,760 COVID-19 cases inside indigenous communities, as well as 327 deaths.

During a virtual news conference, Dr. López-Gatell said that between February 28 and June 15, authorities registered at least 1,760 novel coronavirus cases and added that the majority of coronavirus-related deaths among indigenous people were registered in Yucatán, State of Mexico, Quintana Roo, Oaxaca, and Mexico City. Furthermore, the epidemiologist said that the majority of cases were registered in Yucatán, Oaxaca, Mexico City, State of Mexico, and Hidalgo.

López-Gatell explained that several comorbidities, which worsen the patients’ condition, were present in those who died of COVID-19: 40% of indigenous patients who died suffered from diabetes; 40% suffered from high blood pressure, and 27% had obesity. Moreover, 48% of these patients suffered from two or more diseases, while 29% suffered from one illness. 

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In regards to rural communities, Dr. López-Gatell said there are 4,075 cases and 507 deaths. 

The majority of COVID-19 cases in rural communities were registered in Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Yucatán, State of Mexico, and Puebla. Meanwhile, the majority of deaths were reported in Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Puebla, Yucatán, and Hidalgo.

Although health authorities often emphasize the importance of basic hygiene habits, many of these rural communities lack running water

Dr. López-Gatell said that there are hospitals located in indigenous and rural areas and that the government is working to improve preventive measures such as hygiene habits, sanitization processes, and physical distancing

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