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Last updateFri, 29 May 2020 1pm

Columns

Random reflections in quarantine

Don’t shoot the messenger: Nearly every time this newspaper runs a story about the latest official statistics on Covid-19 in Mexico, someone or another posts a comment calling the information misleading or BS. Let’s be clear on what the numbers signify.

We report the federal government’s “official” numbers because it’s all we have to go on at this point. No one discounts the probable inaccuracy of the figures, but anything else is pure speculation. There are no other reliable sources to take into account, although the Jalisco government, in collaboration with the University of Guadalajara, is starting to do its own calculations to track what is occurring in this state.

That will help counteract the approximate one-week lapse between the date when state authorities register the status of cases confirmed or discarded by testing, and the running death toll, and the date numbers are released by Mexico’s Secretaría de Salud.

Two weeks ago Hugo López-Gatell, the country’s Covid-19 point man, admitted publicly that the official statistics don’t reflect reality by a long shot. Still, they do at least provide a parameter for measuring the pandemic’s progress.

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