New York —

The vast majority of positive cases are in municipalities where between 20% and less than 40% of its population are poor

In Mexico, the areas where poverty is less than 40% is where the highest number of infections by COVID-19, as determined by a tool developed by the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Coneval).

“In targeted urban and metropolitan areas there have been the greatest number of positive cases,” explained José Nabor Cruz Marcelo, the agency’s executive secretary.

To determine this, Coneval developed the Geospatial Viewer of Poverty and COVID-19 in the Municipalities of Mexico, which seeks to offer an overview of the epidemic in the country and also allows us to see the link it has with the areas with the highest incidence of poverty.

According to the agency’s findings, the vast majority of positive cases are found in municipalities where between 20% and less than 40% of its population are poor, although the former have a higher incidence and a higher number of deaths.

He explained that in cities such as Mexico City and its Metropolitan Area, Tijuana, Mexicali, Ciudad Juárez, Culiacán, Puebla and Villahermosa, it is where the greatest number of cases is found.

“But the average poverty, as a percentage of the population is less than 40%, these municipalities are not characterized by poverty levels greater than 50% of their population,” he said.

Poor municipalities with low infections

Cruz Marcelo explained that when analyzing the poorest municipalities, it was found that the incidence of infections is low in those where 80% or more of their population are in this situation.

In these places, he added, only nine out of every 100,000 inhabitants tested positive for COVID-19.

He explained that it could be detected that the so-called Municipalities of Hope, who had the green light to restart their activities on May 18 as they did not present cases of the virus, are the furthest from urban areas, which have less accessibility to paved roads and have less than 5,000 inhabitants.

“Their remoteness has allowed them not to present a greater number of cases, but when cases arise, the number of deceased is considerable,” he explained.

He explained that thanks to this tool, it was possible to detect that in around 50% of the municipalities free of COVID-19, the accessibility to paved roads is low or very low for at least half of the population.

The greatest number of these cases are located in the mountainous areas of the states of Oaxaca, Puebla and Veracruz.

While in the country’s indigenous municipalities, where poverty reaches 90% of its population, it indicated that in 4 out of 10 municipalities cases have occurred, on average 13.

However, the representative noted the concern of the agency since, not having access to health services, the risks may be much higher if any case arises.

“There are many limitations and lack of access to health services, infrastructure and that puts these populations at greater risk,” he said.

Finally, he stressed the importance of a return to economic activities, since he said “it is important to avoid further damage to the economy.”

However, it also considered important that the health authorities guarantee a safe return to avoid outbreaks and therefore more damages, in addition to the fact that in the future, the federal government should think about building a universal social protection scheme since many workers, in This type of pandemic has no income mechanisms.

So far, Mexico now has 93,435 cases and 10,167 deaths from coronavirus.