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03 November 2020

Everyday Heroes — COVID-19

Mexico: Everyday Heroes – COVID-19, 3 November 2020. Images from Servicio Postal Mexicanos Filatelia.

Technical Specifications:

Name: Everyday Heroes COVID 19
Price: $ 7.00 Pesos $ 0.36 USD
Issue Date: 03/11/2020
Paper: Matte white couché, self-adhesive 110 g / m2
Designer: Ricardo Venegas Gómez
Size: 48 x 40 mm
Colors: Multicolor
Perforation: Rouletted
Printing: Offset lithography
Gum: Self-Adhesive
Stamps per sheet: 25
Print run: 100,000

The ongoing worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was confirmed to have reached Mexico in February 2020. However, the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) reported two cases of COVID-19 in mid-January 2020 in the states of Nayarit and Tabasco, one case per state. As of November 5, there had been 949,197 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mexico and 93,772 reported deaths, although the Secretariat of Health, through the Programa Centinela (Spanish for “Sentinel Program”) estimated in mid July 2020 that there were more than 2,875,734 cases in Mexico, because they were considering the total number of cases confirmed as a statistical sample.

On January 22, 2020, the Secretariat of Health issued a statement saying that the novel coronavirus COVID-19 did not present a danger to Mexico. 441 cases had been confirmed in China, Thailand, South Korea, and the United States, and a travel advisory was issued on January 9.

On January 30, 2020, before the declaration of a pandemic by the World Health Organization the Government of Mexico designed a Preparation and Response Plan that was made by the National Committee for Health Safety, a working group led by Secretariat of Health composed by different health entities aiming to act upon the imminent arrival of the pandemic. This group carried out a series of alert measures, rehabilitation and updating of epidemiological regulations based on the International Health Regulations, being the first Latam country that deployed a mathematical model of infectious disease.

On February 28, Mexico confirmed its first three cases. A 35-year-old man and a 59-year-old man in Mexico City and a 41-year-old man in the northern state of Sinaloa tested positive and were held in isolation at a hospital and a hotel, respectively. They had travelled to Bergamo, Italy, for a week in mid-February. On February 29, a fourth case was detected and confirmed in the city of Torreón, in the state of Coahuila, from a 20-year-old woman who traveled to Italy.

On March 12, Mexico announced it had a total of 15 confirmed cases, with new cases in Puebla and Durango. A day later, senator Samuel García Sepúlveda accused the federal government of hiding the true number of confirmed cases. On March 14, Fernando Petersen, the secretary of health of the state of Jalisco, confirmed the first two cases of COVID-19 were detected in Hospital Civil de Guadalajara. Two new cases were confirmed in Nuevo León, and the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) announced that all sporting and civic events in schools would be canceled. The same day, the Secretariat of Education announced that Easter break, originally planned from April 6 to 17, would be extended from March 20 to April 20 as a preventive measure.

In mid-March, retailers in the border city of Tijuana experienced shortages of water and toilet paper as Americans from southern California began crossing the border to panic-buy these items. Purchase limits were placed on several item categories following the first wave of panic buying by foreigners.

On March 17, 11 new cases were confirmed, raising the national total to 93, with Campeche being the only state with no confirmed cases. Mexico’s limited response, including allowing a large concert and the women’s soccer championship, as well as a lack of testing, have been criticized. Critics noted that president López Obrador did not practice social distancing but continued to greet large crowds, and the borders had not been closed. Of particular concern is the health of thousands of migrants in temporary camps along the border with the United States. The former national commissioner for influenza in Mexico during the 2009 flu pandemic, Alejandro Macías, said the problem was compounded by the fact that Mexico lacked sufficient intensive care unit beds, medical care workers and ventilators.

Map of the outbreak in Mexico by increase or decrease of confirmed new infections per week (as of August 11; week 31)

On March 22, bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, and museums were closed in Mexico City. Governor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez of Jalisco announced that beginning Thursday, March 26, Jalisco and seven other states in the Bajío and western Mexico would block flights from areas such as California that had a high rate of coronavirus. He also said that they would purchase 25,000 testing kits.

On March 30, the total number of cases of COVID-19 surpassed one thousand with 1,094 confirmed cases and 28 reported deaths in the country. In the evening, a national health emergency was declared by Secretary Marcelo Ebrard; all sectors in the country were urged to stop most of their activities.

On April 13, the number of COVID-19 infections in the country passed 5,000; there were 332 deaths. The Mexican Navy announced it would open ten voluntary self-isolation units to shelter 4,000 COVID-19 victims in Mexico City, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Veracruz. Sonora became the first state in the country to declare a curfew.

The number of coronavirus cases surged past 10,000 to 10,544 with 970 deaths on April 21. The death toll surpassed the 1,000 figure on April 23. On May 1, Mexico surpassed 20,000 infections of COVID-19. On May 2, Mexico surpassed 2,000 deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On July 1, Mexico became the seventh country with the most amount of COVID-19 deaths surpassing Spain. The same day, Mexico reported 231,770 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with this Mexico became the tenth country with the most infected people with the virus in the world. On July 4, Mexico moved to sixth place in the number of deaths by COVID-19, surpassing France.

On July 8, department stores reopened in Mexico City, but customers were limited to only one hour of shopping, they were required to wear a face mask, and could not use dressing rooms nor try products such as cosmetics or perfumes.

On July 12, Mexico became the country with the fourth greatest number of deaths in the world with 35,006, surpassing Italy. On July 31, Mexico moved into third place in the number of fatalities, behind the United States and Brazil, with 46,688 deaths. Mexico occupied sixth place globally in the total number of confirmed cases, with 424,637.

Mexico passed the mark of 50,000 deaths on August 6. The United States Department of State classified travel to Mexico as “high risk.” Mexico passed the mark of 70,000 deaths on September 11.

On September 12, each of the 951 public hospitals that receives COVID-19 patients was given 1,500 cachitos (one-twetieth of a lottery ticket) for the September 15 raffle of the presidential airplane. Each cachito had a value of MXN $500; if a hospital won, the MXN $20 million (US $1 million) was to be applied to hospital infrastructure, equipment, or medical supplies. The Party of the Democratic Revolution called for an investigation.

On September 15, hospitals in Fresnillo, Durango (ISSSTE); Tepic, Nayarit (IMSS); and Charo, Michoacán (IMSS) each won MXN $20 million in the raffle of the presidential plane.

Federal Deputy Miguel Acundo González (Social Encounter Party) died from COVID-19 on September 16. Thirty-one deputies have tested positive for COVID-19, but most have been asystematic or have had mild cases.

The SRE announced on September 17 that the partial closure of the border with the United States would extend until October 21.

British medical journal The Lancet published an article that states the high level of COVID-19 deaths among Mexican health workers is related to poor working conditions. Mexico has reported 1,320 deaths in the sector, compared to 1,077 in the United States, 649 in the United Kingdom, and 634 in Brazil.

It was announced on September 24 that the government had spent MXN $59.2 billion on the coronavirus, $35 billion of which was by the federal government and the rest by the states. The greatest expenses were in March as the government bought equipment and supplies and began hiring more personnel.

Joel Molina Ramírez, a senator from Tlaxcala, died on October 24.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has continued to hold rallies, be tactile with crowds, and downplay the threat of coronavirus to health and the economy.

Miguel Barbosa Huerta, the governor of Puebla, claimed that only the wealthy were at risk of COVID-19, since the poor are immune. There is no evidence that wealth affects a person’s vulnerability to the virus.

On March 31, Mexico’s post suspended international mail service outside the United States and Canada due to cancellation of international passenger airline flights. On September 24, Mexico’s post stated that it was able to dispatch mail to a growing number of destinations as flights begin to return to normal, albeit with reduced capacity.

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