Mexico’s coronavirus death toll has risen to six after the passing of a man in San Luis Potosí and 70 new confirmed cases of the disease were reported on Wednesday, taking the total across the country to 475.
San Luis Potosí Health Minister Mónica Liliana Rangel reported that a 70-year-old man died on Wednesday morning of complications related to Covid-19 including pneumonia. The man suffered from hypertension and obesity and had a history of smoking, she said.
He is believed to have been infected with Covid-19 by a family member who recently traveled to the United States.
On Wednesday night, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said that three of the coronavirus-related deaths were in Mexico City and that the other three were in Jalisco, Durango and San Luis Potosí.
The oldest person to have died was 77 and the youngest was 41. There has been only one female fatality to date – a 61-year-old cancer patient who died in a Mexico City hospital on Monday.
Of the 475 people confirmed to have Covid-19, 352 recently traveled abroad and 110 had direct contact with someone who did, López-Gatell said. Only 13 cases are unrelated to overseas travel.
Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey have the highest number of confirmed cases in the country.
López-Gatell also said that that there are 1,656 suspected cases of Covid-19 and that 2,445 people had tested negative for the disease.
“There is no way of stopping the pandemic but what we can do is reduce [the number of cases], slow it down,” he said.
The aim of the Health Ministry is to avoid a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases so that the health system is not overwhelmed, the federal official said.
A social distancing initiative officially took effect at the start of this week, schools are closed and a range of non-essential businesses have been ordered to close in many states.
The government announced on Tuesday that Mexico had entered a phase of local transmission of Covid-19 and as a result ordered the cancellation or postponement of events that seek to gather more than 100 people.
There were more than 413,000 known coronavirus cases around the world as of Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported, and 18,433 people had lost their lives to the disease.
China, where Covid-19 originated late last year, has recorded the highest number of cases followed by Italy, the United States, Spain and Germany. Italy has recorded the highest number of deaths, with 6,820 as of Wednesday, according to the WHO.