An inflatable hospital, like this one in Hidalgo, is thought to be planned in Valladolid to treat coronavirus patients. Photo: Ministry of Health

Saturday’s COVID-19 death was a first for the colonial city of Valladolid, said Mayor Enrique Ayora Sosa. The victim was a 68-year-old man who had been hospitalized and had obesity as a complicating condition.

In the same city work has apparently begun on a temporary hospital, under an inflatable tent, that would accommodate coronavirus patients.

The state Health Ministry on Sunday reported Yucatan’s eighth fatality, a 38-year-old woman whose only pre-existing condition was rheumatoid arthritis.

The state has reported 108 coronavirus infections, plus two who were diagnosed abroad and returned here for treatment. Of those, 17 patients are still in the hospital. The rest have recovered or are at home with mild symptoms.

The true number of infections in Yucatan is likely much higher since testing is far from widespread, and has not reached asymptomatic residents or prison inmates.

On Facebook, Ayora Sosa said that “with deep regret I allow myself to report that we have the first Valladolid victim to have COVID-19. … At City Hall, we join the family’s pain for the irreparable loss.”

“I remind you that we are in a very serious, strong and silent battle against an invisible enemy,” the mayor continued. “Only the prudence and discipline of staying at home will give us the advantage to win.”

Izamal’s reported fatality does not appear to be accounted for in the state’s official count.

Meanwhile, a reporter from Diario de Yucatan reported that a field behind Valladolid’s general hospital is being cleared and flattened, likely a spot for a temporary hospital.

While officials did not confirm a hospital project, workers told the dean of the neighboring Universidad de Oriente that an inflatable-tent hospital was in the works. Such a structure was erected in Hidalgo in March.

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