Mexico’s Covid-19 deaths surpassed India’s, making the country’s outbreak the third deadliest in the world as officials struggle to contain a pandemic that is taking an ever greater toll.
The Ministry of Health reported an increase from 1,506 deaths to a total of 155,145 on Thursday evening. The cases increased by 18,670 to 1,825,519.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is currently fighting the disease himself, has defied foreclosures in other countries and has largely pursued the same priorities as before the outbreak. Avoiding widespread direct incentives to alleviate the economic impact of the virus, he has continued to tout his anti-corruption efforts.
“The Covid-19 pandemic causes a lot of sadness, a lot of pain, is harmful but more harmful, worse is the plague of corruption; it is worse than disease,” Lopez Obrador said at an event last week. The president made the remark a day after Mexico reported a record daily increase of 1,803 Covid deaths.
As the death toll in Mexico rose and the country surpassed Italy, Spain and the UK in deaths, Lopez Obrador emphasized the larger population. But while overtaking India, Mexico now has a higher death toll than a country with more than ten times as many people. Mexico is among the top three in Latin America due to Covid-19 deaths per capita.
India’s reported Covid death rate has dropped to about a tenth of its daily high in September to more than 100 deaths a day. The number of registered cases also fell after the vaccination campaign started in early January. The South Asian nation of around 1.3 billion people was released from one of the strictest locks in the world early last year.
Mexico started giving the Pfizer vaccine in late December but has seen no decrease in cases or deaths. Confirmed deaths have only put the country behind the US and Brazil, and health officials acknowledge that the real death toll from the pandemic is much higher, with these estimates being among the highest in the world. Mexico’s positive test rate of over 40% indicates a prevalence of undetected cases in the country.
Lopez Obrador’s government has sent mixed signals as the virus raged across the country. Deputy Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell, who is overseeing the country’s response to the disease, has held nightly press conferences urging people to stay home, wear a mask and maintain social distance. But in the days before his illness was announced, Lopez Obrador took a commercial flight, attended events, and appeared in photos without a mask.
Hospital occupancy in the capital of Mexico City has remained close to 90% for the past few weeks and economic activity continues to be limited to the essentials. According to the Department of Health, beds across the country with eight other states have filled up with over 70% occupancy.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)