Mexico’s Covid-19 case tally increased by a single-day record of 6,741 cases on Thursday while an additional 679 fatalities were added to the official death toll.
The Health Ministry reported that the accumulated case tally increased to 238,511 and that the death toll rose to 29,189.
The number of cases reported Thursday exceeded the previous record set on June 23 by 7%.
Mexico now ranks 10th in the world for cases and remains in fifth place for deaths behind the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Italy.
Director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomía said that 25,565 confirmed cases are considered active, an increase of 831 compared to Wednesday.
There are also 76,423 suspected cases across the country while 610,495 people have been tested. Approximately 60% of those who tested positive have now recovered, Alomía said.
He said that 12,668 of 27,928 general care hospital beds set aside for coronavirus patients are currently occupied and that 3,624 of 9,509 critical care beds with ventilators are in use.
As a result, 55% of general care beds across Mexico and 62% of those with ventilators remain available.
Thursday night’s coronavirus press briefing came after The Washington Post published a report based on an interview with Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell, who told the newspaper that there were about three times more deaths than normal in Mexico City between March and May.
“How many people have died now? This statistic, which we are still refining, is about three times more,” he said.
López-Gatell told the Post that “it’s probable” that the majority of the excess deaths were caused by Covid-19.
Asked about the report Thursday night, the deputy minister said there have undoubtedly been more Covid-19 deaths than reported not just in Mexico City but across the country.
“The article in The Washington Post is about Mexico City but this phenomenon is occurring in the entire country,” López-Gatell said.
He said that the national death toll could be three times higher than currently indicated by official statistics.
López-Gatell explained that some suspected coronavirus patients die at hospital before they are tested, some die on their way to hospital and others pass away in their homes. Therefore, their deaths are not immediately classified as having been caused by Covid-19.
He reiterated that when a patient dies before he or she is tested, an expert committee assesses the death to determine whether it should be attributed to Covid-19. If there is sufficient evidence to determine that a death was caused by Covid-19, it is subsequently added to the death toll, López-Gatell said.
Mexico City has officially recorded 6,750 Covid-19 deaths but if the deputy minister’s estimate is correct, the real figure would be about 20,000.
Daniel Weinberger, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health who has studied excess-death data during the pandemic, told The Washington Post that the surge in fatalities in Mexico City is “on a par with what we’ve seen in the most hard-hit areas of the United States,” which has the highest Covid-19 death toll in the world.
Source: El Universal (sp)