Mexico reports record numbers of deaths and infections
Jude Webber in Mexico City
Mexico reported its highest single-day jump both in Covid-19 confirmed cases and fatalities on Tuesday, despite government hopes that the virus has now plateaued in the worst-affected areas of the country.
The government said the total number of deaths now stood at 8,134, an increase of 501 from Monday, and 74,560 confirmed cases, a rise of 3,455 on the previous day.
Mexico, with 129m people, has acknowledged that the true number of cases is several times higher than it has been reporting, but it bases its official data on cases which are confirmed by laboratory tests. Mexico, with a testing rate of 186 per 100,000 people has the lowest level of testing in the OECD.
Hugo López-Gatell, the health undersecretary and coronavirus tsar, told a news conference earlier that “we don’t have a particular interest in counting mild cases” but said authorities were counting serious cases in full.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said Mexico had “tamed” coronavirus and has praised people for sticking to a nationwide quarantine which ends on May 30.
However, in some parts of the country, like his native southeastern state of Tabasco, he admitted that a relaxation of quarantine had led to a renewed spike in infection numbers.
From June, Mexico will implement a traffic-light system of gradual reopening different parts of the country at different speeds depending on the prevalence of the virus locally.