Yucatan remains at the second-highest stage of alert — the orange “traffic signal” — despite rising hospitalizations and 159 new coronavirus infections and 16 fatalities announced Thursday.

The region could very well have reversed course, returning to red, but the provisional hospital rooms built in Valladolid gave Yucatan bed capacity to merit staying at orange. Thirteen patients have already been admitted to the temporary pre-fabricated hospital, which was built in 25 days and has 100 beds.

The red, orange, yellow and green lights indicate how far each state can go in reopening the economy. Red allows only essential activities while green brings the economy back to normal, with hotels, restaurants and schools operating as they had before the pandemic.

Hospital beds are occupied at an average of 44.3% throughout the state. Intensive-care beds, with ventilators, are also at 44.3%. Private hospitals have no more beds for COVID-19 patients, MID CityBeat reported. Hospitalization dropped by two on Thursday.

Hospital admissions declined by 1.5% after a 14.8% surge the previous week, helping Yucatan stay in “orange.” Other standards that determine whether Yucatan can proceed with its first wave of economic recovery improved just slightly: The positivity rate of COVID-19 testing declined from 46% to 45.6% and the rate of contagion dropped from 1.6% to 1.4%.

Of the infections detected in the previous 24 hours, 76 were in Mérida; 13 in Valladolid; 12 in Progreso; eight in Ticul; five in Kanasín and Tekax; four in Halachó, Tizimín and Umán; three in Peto and Temozón, two in Acanceh, Chichimilá, Izamal, Muna, Oxkutzcab and Tzucacab, and one in Cansahcab, Dzilam González, Dzitás, Hocabá, Opichén, Scalum, Sinanché, Tecoh, Tekal de Venegas and Tekom.

The number of people in Yucatan who have died with COVID-19 totals 594 and at this rate will pass 600 when Yucatan health officials hold a new briefing at 6 p.m. Friday.

A 46-year-old Merida man with systemic arterial hypertension, and another 46-year-old Merida man with no previous illnesses or pre-existing conditions, were the youngest to perish. An 82-year-old Merida man with diabetes, COPD, asthma and immunosuppression, and a 91-year-old man from Halachó, were the oldest. The average age of the deceased was 62.

Since March, 5,739 positive cases of coronavirus have been found in Yucatan, of which 52 are from another country or state. Around 73% of patients have recovered, including 143 on Thursday, while 937 patients were under a doctor’s care for COVID-19 as of Thursday.

The current patients include 601 with mild symptoms and allowed to recover at home under quarantine. After several days in which hospitalizations surged, the number of patients admitted declined by two to reach 337.

Patients range in age from 1 month to 97 years.

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