“The poor are immune,” came to declare the governor of Puebla, Miguel Barbosa. Almost symbolically, the richest municipality in the country, San Pedro Garza García, became the first epicenter of infection, hit by several inhabitants who returned from Colorado carrying skis and viruses in tow.
But now, the epidemic of covid-19 It is already hitting the most popular strata of the country with force and it has primed itself in areas of high marginalization, where the population cannot withdraw to quarantine.
The official statistics of the federal government indicate that a good part of the cases and infections are currently concentrated in mayors and municipalities marginalized from the Mexico City and its metropolitan area, in addition to other low-resource towns in different parts of the country.
Today, the victims are no longer millionaires: they are ordinary Mexicans. Like two deceased merchants in the Central de Abastos. Or a homeless person, who took refuge yesterday at an ATM in Tlalpan. Or Noé Sánchez, who died of covid-19 last week. To support his family, he drove a Metrobús unit. From trips to ski resorts in the Rockies, she never knew anything.
Last Friday, April 24, he went to the hospital closest to his home, Belisario Domínguez in Iztapalapa, but was not treated. After being taken to two more hospitals without success, he died of an illness that reached a city hall where water and basic services are a luxury that not all its inhabitants can enjoy.
In the Mexico City, according to the open database of the UNAM, most cases of coronavirus are concentrated in Iztapalapa (850 cases at the close yesterday), with a human development index similar to that of Sri Lanka; and precarious colonies of Gustavo A. Madero (603 cases), as well as the high areas of Álvaro Obregón (331 cases), where the Integrated Poverty Measurement Method calculates that up to 60 and 52 percent of the population lives below the marginal line.
In contrast, the municipalities with the highest human development index –Benito Juárez, Cuajimalpa and Miguel Hidalgo– keep contagion with the lowest figures in Mexico City; its inhabitants, who in the beginning and under an ideological vision would be the main ones affected by the pandemic, have emerged relatively unscathed.
The most emblematic case of the capital is that of Iztapalapa, the largest and most populated city hall in the country with more than one million 827 thousand inhabitants. In most of its 319 neighborhoods there is a constant lack of water and basic services, not to mention that people have paid little attention to the call to stay home, and every weekend since the health emergency began, the police report parties clandestine.
The Belisario Domínguez Hospital is located in that mayoralty, one of which is already saturated due to the number of cases that have arrived in recent days, as well as the General of Tláhuac.
In the case of Mexico state, at the close of yesterday the municipalities with the most infections of covid-19 were again the most popular: Nezahualcóyotl, Ecatepec, Tlalnepantla, Naucalpan and Chimalhuacán. They all share not only the high population density, but also a low number of job occupation and little obedience to staying at home; the authorities have struggled to contain popular dances and street parties in its confines.
Still counting Naucalpan, which has some areas with high purchasing power, all the aforementioned Mexican municipalities have high infection rates and have marginalization rates of over 50 percent of their population, located with an income below the welfare line for the Coneval.
At the national level, Tijuana, in Baja California, tops the list of municipalities with the highest number of people affected by the new coronavirus, with more than 733 people confirmed at yesterday’s close; once again, poverty and infection also intersect here: it has also been the city that has confirmed the most deaths, outside the Mexico City, with 130 deaths.
The marginalization in Tijuana, a historical confluence of massive migration, lack of services and precarious jobs in the maquila industry, is another factor to take into account in the crisis of covid-19. At least 58.94 percent of its population lives in some type of poverty, whether extreme or moderate, according to Coneval.
Another relevant case is in Tabasco, an entity that for 8 years has been mired in a strong economic crisis. Villahermosa, the state capital, concentrated until yesterday 548 confirmed cases and 63 deaths of covid-19. And there is also the poverty map: the municipality of Centro, in which the city is located and where the crownvirus it is on the rise, it has the highest unemployment rate in the country, with 7.4 percent.