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AUC GEOGRAPHICA, Vol 59 No 1 (2024), 3–19

The COVID-19 disaster in Mexico City: Exploring risk drivers at the local scale

Perla Lorena Romero-Gaeta, Irasema Alcántara-Ayala

published online: 21. 03. 2024


The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the inhabitants of Mexico City. With over 9 million people living in 16 districts, infections and mortality rates varied greatly. In this article, demographic and socio-economic factors were analyzed to determine vulnerability and exposure to COVID-19 during the crisis from 27 February 2020 to 10 May 2021. The study revealed that mortality and infections were distributed differently across the districts of Mexico City. The districts with the most confirmed cases did not necessarily have the highest death rates. Many deaths were linked to age and comorbidities, such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. Poverty, overcrowding, the lack of space, and basic services contributed to vulnerability and exposure to the disease. Inequalities in the city’s development over time resulted in varying degrees of vulnerability and exposure to COVID-19, leading to different patterns of infections and deaths across the districts. The prevalence of infections in the city´s southwestern districts can be attributed to the combination of marginalization, poverty, and inadequate services. Conversely, the northwest areas of the city, with a higher concentration of elderly residents, experienced a greater number of fatalities.

keywords: Covid-19; disaster; disaster risk drivers; Mexico City

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