Americas

Mexico’s coronavirus death toll continues to rise, surpassing 28K

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Mexico’s death toll from the novel coronavirus has exceeded that of Spain, once a global hot spot for the virus, according to a Reuters tally that puts the number at 28,510.

The nation’s health ministry reported 741 fatalities Tuesday, putting the total number ahead of Spain’s 28,363 death toll, according to the news service.

The numbers come as Mexican public health officials have focused their efforts on seriously ill patients rather than implementing a wide-scale testing program, with Deputy Health Minister Hugo López Gatell saying a wider testing regimen would constitute “a waste of time, effort and resources,” according to Bloomberg.

“Our purpose is not to count every case, but to use modern and efficient mechanisms to tackle the pandemic,” he told a Senate panel in late May, saying on Tuesday that “deaths in our country are associated with diabetes, hypertension and obesity.”

Additionally, Mexico’s testing positivity rate is around 50 percent, according to Bloomberg.

“You don’t want it to be that easy to find cases,” Amesh A. Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told the publication. “They’re not trying hard enough.”

“You need to be testing the mild cases,” Adalja added. “Those cases you’re missing are out there infecting people.”

Latin America as a whole has reported a total of more than 2.5 million cases, and public health experts are increasingly concerned by the hands-off approach of both Brazil and Mexico, the biggest and second-biggest Latin American economies.

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro has frequently downplayed the threat of the virus, mingling in crowds and shaking hands without a mask before being ordered last week by a judge to wear a mask.

Tags Coronavirus

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