Mexico reports record number of deaths and infections
Jude Webber in Mexico City
Mexico reported its highest jump in a day on Tuesday, both in confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths, despite government hopes that the virus has now plateaued in the hardest hit areas of the country.
The government said the total number of deaths is now 8,134, an increase of 501 from Monday, and 74,560 confirmed cases, an increase of 3,455 the day before.
Mexico, with 129 million people, has acknowledged that the actual number of cases is several times higher than it had reported, but it bases its official data on cases confirmed by laboratory tests. Mexico, with a screening rate of 186 per 100,000 population, has the lowest screening level in the OECD.
Hugo López-Gatell, undersecretary for health and coronavirus tsar, said earlier at a press conference that “we have no particular interest in counting mild cases”, but said that the authorities counted the serious cases in their entirety.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Mexico had “tamed” the coronavirus and congratulated the people on sticking to a national quarantine which ends on May 30.
However, in parts of the country, such as his home state southeast of Tabasco, he admitted that a relaxation of quarantine had led to a further spike in the number of infections.
From June, Mexico will set up a system of traffic lights allowing to gradually reopen different parts of the country at different speeds depending on the local prevalence of the virus.