Mexico’s Covid-19 death toll surpasses Italy
Jude Webber in Mexico City
Mexico surpassed Italy on Sunday with 35,006 confirmed coronavirus deaths, the fourth biggest total in the world behind the US, Brazil and the UK.
Italy, an early hotspot in the Covid-19 pandemic, has reported 34,954 deaths.
Mexico, which has some 129m people, has reported 299,750 confirmed coronavirus cases but Hugo López-Gatell, health undersecretary, has likened the pandemic in Mexico to a car that was slowing down, saying “the speed of transmission … is gradually reducing”.
The undersecretary, who is the public face of the government’s fight against coronavirus, also slammed some in the media for “fostering confrontation” over the handling of the pandemic.
According to data he presented at a news conference on Sunday, up to July 2, the number of recovered cases was increasing and deaths were declining.
But hospital beds are filling up, especially in the states of Tabasco and Nayarit, while ventilator bed occupancy had risen to nearly 60 per cent in Tabasco, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s home state.
In recent days, as well as overtaking France in terms of total deaths, Mexico has also racked up new record daily confirmed case counts.
Testing in Mexico, however, is low — less than 730,000, suggesting the true toll is higher than reported data. But the government says the most important variable is the number of active cases, which currently stands at 29,839.