The federal Health Ministry reported an additional 817 confirmed cases of Covid-19 over the weekend, taking Mexico’s total to 4,661.
Director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomía announced 442 new cases at the government’s coronavirus press briefing on Sunday night, the biggest single-day increase since the first Covid-19 case was detected in Mexico at the end of February.
He also reported that the death toll had risen by 23 in the preceding 24 hours to 296.
Mexico City has recorded the highest number of both confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths, with 1,328 of the former and 56 of the latter. México state ranks second for cases with 523 followed by Baja California, where 335 people have tested positive.
Sinaloa has seen the second highest number of coronavirus-related deaths with 24 followed by Baja California and México state, which have both recorded 22 fatalities.
In addition to the confirmed cases, there are 8,697 suspected cases of the infectious disease, Alomía said. More than 36,500 people have now been tested for Covid-19.
Of those who tested positive, 1,843 people – almost 40% of the total – have now recovered, Alomía said.
Among those still sick, 481 are in stable condition in the hospital, 897 are in serious condition and 185 are in critical condition on ventilators. Two-thirds of people confirmed to have Covid-19 have not required hospitalization, Health Ministry data shows.
With regard to coronavirus-related fatalities, Alomía said that 166 people aged 25-59 have died and that the other 130 deaths were of people aged 60 or older. The fatality rate among the former cohort is 4.9 per 100 confirmed cases while among the latter it is 14. Mexico’s overall coronavirus fatality rate is 6.4.
The most prevalent existing health problems among those who have died are hypertension, diabetes and obesity.
Earlier on Sunday, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said that Mexico will have “the most difficult time of this epidemic” in April and May.
“We’re going to have a lot of patients, we’re going to need a lot of care in the hospitals. We need [medical] personnel, competent personnel. We need to take advantage of the talent Mexico has, the talent you have as a health professional. … Help Mexico,” he said in a video posted to social media inviting doctors and nurses to apply for positions in the public health system.
In the same video, the medical coordinator of the National Institute of Health for Well-Being said that the government is looking for doctors and nurses with general training as well as those with specialties in respiratory illnesses, infectious diseases, intensive care and anesthesiology.
“Please, … help us in this work that the country has entrusted us with. The recruitment drive is open, we’re taking applications and hiring,” said Alejandro Svarch Pérez.
In his own video message, President López Obrador announced that the government has reached an agreement with private hospitals in which they will support the public health system by providing more than 3,000 beds free of charge to Covid-19 patients.
He also said that he would like to declare an end to the health emergency on May 10 and begin lifting restrictions currently in place to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, López Obrador stressed that he is not “an expert in everything” and therefore medical experts will have the final say.