Mexico Covid Deaths Rise by a Record 1,803 as Virus Surges

Mexico reported a daily rise of 1,803 Covid-19 deaths, marking the second day this week of record increases, according to data released by the Health Ministry Thursday night.

Cases also rose by a record of 22,339 to total 1,711,283. Both deaths and cases saw the largest increase apart from Oct. 5, when health authorities adjusted the way they calculate the numbers.

It’s the third day in a row the country has seen deaths surge by more than 1,500. With 146,174 total deaths, Mexico has the world’s fourth-highest toll due to the pandemic and is inching closer to India, which holds third place on the list. Mexico is also on track to pass Peru to have the highest Covid-19 deaths per capita among major economies in the region.

Mexico Covid Deaths Rise by a Record 1,803 as Virus Surges

Health officials in Mexico have resisted strict lockdowns, as much of the population must work in order to meet daily needs. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has pledged government austerity, has also declined to implement any large-scale stimulus amid the outbreak. Christmas celebrations are believed to have contributed to the outbreak, while the nation’s vaccination campaign has suffered delays.

“Mexico’s national strategy has been not to force people to remain in confinement, and we are seeing that reflected in the statistics,” said Gustavo Leal Fernandez, a professor of health policy at the Metropolitan Autonomous University in Mexico City. “We’re not going to see the beneficial impact of vaccines, in terms of fewer cases and fewer deaths, for quite some time.”

Mexico even surpassed the single-day death record of Brazil, the country with the most virus fatalities in Latin America. Brazil had its last record-breaking day on July 29, with 1,595 Covid-related deaths.

Hospital occupancy throughout Mexico has climbed, with nine states having more than 70% of their general beds to treat Covid patients filled, according to the Health Ministry.

Mexico began vaccinating health care workers at the end of December, while Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell implored people to stay at home as the pandemic was far from over. So far the country has administered 567,379 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, Lopez-Gatell reported on Friday morning, but delays in delivery of shots from the company could affect the immunization rate in coming weeks.

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