The fatality of COVID-19 in minors is higher in girls and boys between zero and 14 years of age in Mexico. The highest number of deaths in that sector of the population was registered a week before returning to the classroom, revealed a study by the UNAM Faculty of Medicine.
Of the more than 758 deaths in Mexico of minors, only until the end of August, that is, without counting infections and deaths after returning to face-to-face classes, the population between zero and 14 years old, which coincides with preschool, elementary and high school students, has the highest fatality rate from COVID-19, with 634 deaths.
Mexico accumulates 267 thousand 969 deaths and three million 516 thousand cases of COVID
According to the Epidemiological Surveillance System for Viral Respiratory Disease, provided by the General Directorate of Epidemiology (DGE) of the Federal Government’s Health Secretariat, up to August 28, 2021, 106 thousand 515 infections of COVID-19 had been notified in minors between zero and 14 years of age, which represents 3.2% of the total cases registered in the country.
“We can have cases of minors in Mexico who are dying from COVID-19 and who are not cataloged for that cause because the statistics are very imprecise.”
– Malaquías López Cervantes, researcher at UNAM
Of the COVID-19 cases reported in minors, 52 thousand 258 correspond to women (49.1%) and 54 thousand 257 to men (50.1%). In total, this group has registered 634 deaths, of which 277 occurred in girls (43.7%) and 357 in boys (56.3%).
“As age increases, the number of cases increases: the 10 to 14-year-old group concentrates 52.9% of all cases in minors. It should be noted that the lethality is higher in the early ages ”, pointed out the academics and researchers of the UNAM, Abril Violeta Muñoz-Torres, Erick Osorio López and Alejandra Moreno Altamirano, in the study entitled Epidemiological panorama of COVID-19 in girls and boys from 0 to 14 years old.
It is stated that until August 28, that is, two days before the return to face-to-face classes decreed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the entities that concentrate the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in children under zero to 14 years of age were Mexico City and the State of Mexico, adding 54 thousand 204 infections (50.9%) and 148 deaths (23.3%).
The study by the UNAM Faculty of Medicine adds that in the case of minors from zero to 14 years of age, specifically, Mexico City reported 44 thousand 503 cases and 50 deaths, while in the State of Mexico 9,553 cases and 98 deaths were reported. The figures of lethality highest for that range of the population were recorded in Baja California Sur (3.9%), Aguascalientes (3.9%), Chihuahua (2.6%), Chiapas (2.5%) and Puebla (2.1%).
The entities with the lowest fatality were Mexico City (0.11%), Baja California Sur (0.25%), Tabasco (0.26%), Durango (0.36%) and San Luis Potosí (0.37%).
In recent weeks an increase in the number of deaths has been observed; however, it is important to clarify that proportionally the number of deaths in this age group, as well as in the general population, the trend is downward.
The study recommends that in order to reduce the risk of becoming ill with COVID-19 in this population -fronting the scenario of back to school announced for the end of August 2021-, it is imperative to continue with adequate prevention measures, inside and outside the centers educational, such as the correct use of the mask and the appropriate ventilation of the closed spaces, as well as the healthy distance within the classrooms to reduce the probability of exposure to the virus.
Before back to school
The UNAM indicates that in the range of zero to 14 years, the first deaths occurred in April 2020; and the highest number occurred in the months of June and July 2020. In 2021, in week 33, that is, from August 16 to 22, a week before the face-to-face return to classes, the highest number of deaths was reported among minors from zero to 14 years old, with 28.
School-age children are at risk
For his part, the academic and researcher of the Faculty of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the epidemiologist Malachi López Cervantes said that it is a serious error of the Mexican Government, especially the Ministry of Health, to say that children do not have serious risks due to COVID-19, since statistics, which could be underestimating reality, show that minors can be infected, become ill and die from this virus.
“We can have cases of minors in Mexico who are dying from COVID-19 and who are not cataloged for that cause because the statistics are very imprecise,” said the former Director General of Epidemiology, Planning, Information and Evaluation and the National Institute of Public Health .
He explained that many of the deaths of minors in Mexico due to COVID-19 may have a relationship with the poor quality of care provided by the Health System. “Our country has been characterized by a very high mortality at all times in all sectors of the population, but it never got better and the simple answer is that when they were older adults, it was due to diabetes.”
He regretted the speech of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in the sense that in Mexico no one has been left without hospital care during the pandemic. “It is a good joke from the President, which only serves as a political speech or harangue, but it is not true. It is evident that a large percentage of the more than 250 thousand deaths from COVID-19 were in their homes due to the lack of hospitals, beds, oxygen or respirators ”.
COVID-19 infections in children between zero and 14 years of age were notified until August 28, 2021.
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