Using phone calls and texts, Yucatan state workers track down people who have come in contact with coronavirus patients. Photo: Courtesy

Acknowledging a drastic increase in new cases, Yucatan health officials said they have treated more than 10,000 coronavirus patients since March. An additional 211 new cases, along with 245 “lagging” numbers, became official Saturday to total 456 new cases in 24 hours.

This brings to 10,223 the official number of cases in Yucatan since the pandemic began in March. Of those, 7,745 — nearly 76% — have recovered, including 192 reported Saturday. The pandemic here and across Mexico is likely far more extensive than official figures reflect.

Hospitalizations shot up a fifth straight day to exceed 600 for the first time, further threatening a return to May’s red-alert shutdown on Monday. That would close non-essential businesses as Yucatan struggles to regain its economic footing.

Authorities also reported 32 coronavirus-related fatalities in the last 24 hours: 22 men and 10 women ranging in age from 32 to 94.

Of these, 11 were from Merida, three from Valladolid and Umán, two from Halachó and Temozón, one from abroad, and one each in Conkal, Dzilam González, Maxcanú, Motul, Sinanché, Tekax, Tixkokob, Ticul, Timucuy and Tinum.

In total, 1193 people have died in Yucatan from the coronavirus.

Current patients include 681 recovering at home under quarantine and 604 in the hospital, 20 more than the day before. The youngest patient is one month old and the oldest is 98.

The Siglo XXI convention center, devoid of convention business, expanded its reach in accepting coronavirus patients in an exhibit hall that was turned into a temporary hospital ward. It will now allow patients in the intermediate stage of infection rather than only recovering COVID-19 victims, according to a report in Sipse. So far, 76 patients have been discharged from the Siglo XXI facility.