Mexico is once again seeing a rise in COVID-19 infections, especially in major tourism destinations in the country's coastal states.

Quintana Roo, Mayan Riviera, and Baja California Sur, which are usual tourist destinations during the holidays, are experiencing their highest total infections since the pandemic started in 2020, according to data provided by the Mexican government.

On December 29, at least 700 infections were recorded in Baja California Sur, higher than a previous high in July of fewer than 600.

On the other hand, Quintana Roo saw a significant increase in just eight days, from 27 cases on December 20 to 484 on December 28.

According to Al Jazeera, this could be because beaches in the said areas were filled with tourists during the holidays. They had been closed early in the pandemic.

Public Health Experts Question Mexico's COVID-19 Response

Public health experts and even average citizens have repeatedly questioned the Mexican government's response to the sudden rise of COVID-19 infections.

It can be recalled that a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination is not required for tourists and visitors who wish to enter the country. This policy has boosted the number of visitors in Mexico but might be causing more public health damage.

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Mexico Delayed Return to Schools

About a year ago, Mexico saw one of the worst moments of the pandemic. Their hospitals were overwhelmed, and more than 1,400 people died from COVID-19.

Since the start of the pandemic, Mexico has reported more than 3.99 million COVID-19 cases and at least 299,580 deaths due to coronavirus. However, authorities noted that the real number of deaths could be significantly higher than what was reported.

On Tuesday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador warned that the new variant of COVID-19, the Omicron, is very contagious. However, he assured the public that its symptoms were not severe enough to require hospitalization.

According to data from Johns Hopkins, more than 57 percent of Mexico's population has now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The country has also started rolling out booster shots for the vulnerable population, the elderly, and healthcare workers. NBC News reported that teachers are also set to receive their booster doses in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the sudden increase in COVID-19 cases led to a delay in return to classes in a dozen of Mexico's 32 states after the holidays.

Several students have already returned to school, but other states, including Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo, are set to start on January 17.

Health officials in Mexico are yet to comment on criticisms thrown at them for their poor COVID-19 response.

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This article is owned by Latin Post.

Written by: Jess Smith

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