Information last updated: 22 April, 2020

  • Total population: 129.2 M
  • Population +65: 7%
  • GDP Per Capita: 19,845 USD
  • Informal employment: 56% (2019)
  • First registered case: 27 February
  • Hospital beds: .70 (per 1,000 people)


Non-essential activities suspended until May 30th.

As of April 22th, Mexico has entered Phase III of the contingency, which according the health authorities, signal to a rising number of cases up to the thousands (+9k cases confirmed). A nationwide “Jornada Nacional de Sana Distancia” has been put in place until May 30th,  and entails the suspension of non-essential activities in the public, private and social sectors. To date, Mexico has not put in place curfews or mandatory lockdowns.  Government authorities have also declared a health emergency


Response set up and capacity

The Health Secretariat (Secretaría de Salud) is responsible for managing and guiding all health institutions. Additionally, the Health Secretariat, through the Epidemiological and Sanitary Intelligence Unit (UIES, Unidad de Inteligencia Epidemiológica y Sanitaria) of the General Directorate of Epidemiology, issues epidemiological warnings and monitors the pandemic. Furthermore, the National Epidemiological Surveillance System is the set of epidemiological strategies and actions that allow the production of useful epidemiological information for public health. The National Network of Public Health Laboratories and the Institute of Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference are entities in charge of conducting testing and confirming cases. 

According to an OECD report published last November, Mexico has only 1.2 nurses for each doctor, whereas the average among OECD member countries is 2.7. It is estimated that the number of beds won’t cover the demand as projections show that 24,500 people would likely require hospitalization and just over 10,500 could need intensive care. Current capacity is estimated to be around 3,000 ICU beds, including those operated by public hospitals, social security services, Pemex, the army and navy. 

Stakeholder Mapping

Entities / Organizations

• Secretaría de Salud Federal
• Unidad de Inteligencia Epidemiológica y Sanitaria (UIES) de la Dirección General de Epidemiología
• Dirección General de Epidemiología Comité Nacional para la Vigilancia Epidemiológica (CONAVE)
• Comités Jurisdiccionales y Estatales para la Vigilancia Epidemiológica
• Red Nacional de Laboratorios de Salud Pública

Additional actors

• President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador
• Hugo López-Gatell Ramírez, Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion
• José Luis Alomía Zegarra, General Director of Epidemiology

Mitigating factors - What is being done?

Risks, vulnerabilities, obstacles

  • On March 30th, epidemiologist López-Gatell modeled the estimated hospitalization burden arising from COVID-19 pandemic in two scenarios – with no interventions, and with actions similar to ‘stay at home’ orders. Without any intervention, it is predicted that Mexico’s ICU and hospital capacity would collapse at the end of April
  • The Director of Mexico’s National Center for Disease Prevention and Control Programs said that 0.2% of Mexico’s population, or more than 250,000 people, could be infected with Covid-19 if a widespread outbreak occurs. While it is unlikely that more than 10,000 Covid-19 patients would require critical care treatment at the same time, there is still a significant chance that there will not be enough intensive care beds in public hospitals to accommodate people needing such treatment.
  • 50% of Mexicans live below the poverty line, and 30 million Mexicans work in the informal sector – the economic repercussions of the pandemic make 30% more Mexicans vulnerable to fall under the poverty line, particularly as informal workers receive no social welfare benefits. It is estimated that if the economy plunges by 5 percent this year,  1.7m jobs could be lost, including 700, 000 in the formal sector. 
  • Though migration from Mexico has slowed in recent years, the country received record remittances of $36bn last year from Mexicans abroad — a vital lifeline that will be hard hit as the US economy plummets.
  • There are also concerns about whether the government’s new universal health scheme, which has been plagued with problems since its introduction at the start of this year, will be able to cope with an influx of Covid-19 patients seeking free treatment.

Potential actions and demands

Key resources