Foundation BBVA and companies including Grupo Bimbo, Bepensa and Nestlé donate supplies to medical staff at local hospitals. Photo: Courtesy

Six COVID-19 patients in Yucatan died and 54 new infections were detected Tuesday, as officials shut down the massive San Benito and Lucas de Gálvez markets when 47 vendors tested positive.

Tuesday was the 20th consecutive day of coronavirus deaths in Yucatan.

Confirmed infections in the state now total 1,218, although doctors calculate the true number is close to 5,000. Nine more patients, 743 in all, have recovered.

A 55-year-old man from Progreso died, as did a 56-year-old Merida man, a 72-year-old man from Valladolid, a 73-year-old man from Kopomá, a 79-year-old woman from Merida and an 80-year-old man from Halacho. All but one had serious pre-existing conditions. Their contacts will be under surveillance for signs of illness.

Another 189 patients remain quarantined in their homes with mild symptoms, and 134 — 15 more in the past 24 hours — are hospitalized in total isolation.

Patients range in age from eight months to 94 years.

Yucatan ranks eighth in the nation for coronavirus cases per capita.

One of the patients discharged Tuesday was a 48-year-old man at UMAE hospital who was given a joyous sendoff after a 30-day ordeal which included time on a ventilator.

“I want to thank the UMAE hospital for all the care they gave me during my recovery from the COVID-19 disease. This is not a game, stay home!” said the patient, who was not identified.

But that advice is being increasingly ignored.

Reporters saw increased numbers of pedestrians Monday, when Yucatan began what should be a slow crawl to the “new normal.” Sidewalks and parks were crowded; one woman was seen lingering to feed the pigeons.

Face masks and social distancing were still the norm, but it was clear that residents were tired of quarantine.

On the beach, residents complained to newspapers that the occupants of summer homes have been venturing onto the sand at will to go jogging or to splash in the water.

“The owners of summer houses are like little children,” one Progreso resident told Diario de Yucatan. “They have been told not to go to the sea, not to be on the beaches and that if they want to be in Progreso, that they remain in their homes and they don’t care; while they put us all at risk, because by their actions some of them may be infected and harm someone who wants to take care of themselves.”

Complaints have concentrated in places such as Uaymitún, Chelem and the Chuburná area, and runners have been observed along the Malecón.