Mexico’s death toll on Sunday exceeds 1,000
Jude Webber in Mexico City
Mexico reported 1,044 more deaths from coronavirus on Sunday, as fears grow about the severity of the crisis affecting the country.
Sunday’s data brought Mexico’s total to 21,825 deaths and 180,545 confirmed cases, but because Mexico has one of the world’s lowest levels of testing, the true figures are widely assumed to be far higher.
The low testing rate might have contributed to another alarming statistic, highlighted by Harvard epidemiologist and health economist Eric Feigl-Ding, who tweeted: “Holy moly- I’m crying for MEXICO. The over 50% is the POSITIVITY percentage!!!”
José Luis Alomía, director general of epidemiology at the health ministry, told a news conference that “the majority of this group of 1,044 [deaths] are new notifications and … the vast majority of them … are deaths that happened in the month of May, then there is a group with happened in the first weeks of June and really, in the last few days, we have fewer deaths”.
However, he noted that the northern states of Sonora, Sinaloa and Coahuila and the Pacific states of Guerrero and Michoacán were emerging as Covid-19 hotspots.
Despite the increasing numbers, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador insists the country has “tamed” coronavirus. The health ministry says cases rose until late May but have stabilised at high levels and have yet to fall.
The country began reopening its economy at the beginning of June, despite the continued increase in cases and deaths, applying a traffic light system to differentiate between different risk areas.
Mexico City remains on red, meaning only essential businesses are supposed to be operating, but increasing number of street markets, boutiques and even shops selling toys and gifts are in operation.