As Mexico’s coronavirus case tally surged past 100,000 on Wednesday more than 1,000 additional deaths were reported after fatalities dating back as far as April were confirmed to have been caused by Covid-19.
The federal Health Ministry reported that 101,238 people have tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic with a record high of 3,912 new cases registered on Wednesday.
Director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomía told a press conference that the coronavirus death toll had risen to 11,729, an increase of 1,092 fatalities – more than double the previous high for a single day.
It was the first time that the number of coronavirus fatalities reported on one day in Mexico was higher than the number recorded in the United States, which has the world’s highest Covid-19 death toll.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell explained that the large spike in fatalities came after a committee of medical specialists confirmed that deaths of patients who weren’t tested for Covid-19 were in fact caused by the disease and subsequently reported those fatalities to authorities.
After 501 Covid-19 fatalities were reported on a single day in late May, López-Gatell said that not all of the deaths reported on a particular day occurred in the preceding 24 hours.
He reiterated that point at Wednesday night’s press coronavirus press conference, presenting a graph that showed that some of the 1,092 additional fatalities reported occurred in April and a large number of them occurred in May.
“As you can see there are some [deaths] from very old dates like this one from April 15. … In the past 20 or 25 days there are several [fatalities] that have had a slow path to the registry for different reasons,” López-Gatell said.
The deputy minister predicted that more “bundles” of between 500 and 1,000 fatalities will be reported in the coming days as the specialist medical committee analyzes more deaths that were suspected to have been caused by Covid-19 but which have not yet been confirmed.
Earlier in the press briefing, Alomía said that there are currently 948 such deaths.
Based on confirmed Covid-19 deaths and cases, Mexico’s fatality rate is 11.6 per 100 cases, almost double the global rate of 5.9.
In addition to the more than 100,000 confirmed cases, there are currently 44,869 suspected cases across the country, while more than 303,000 people have now been tested for Covid-19.
Alomía said that 16,829 of the confirmed cases – one in six – are considered active, a decrease of 111 compared to Tuesday.
Mexico City, which has now recorded more than 3,000 confirmed Covid-19 deaths, has the largest active coronavirus outbreak in the country, with 3,591 cases.
México state follows with just over 2,000 active cases while Tabasco has the third largest active outbreak, with 957.
President López Obrador said Wednesday that the Valley of México metropolitan area, which includes Mexico City and several México state municipalities, and Tabasco, were the areas of most concern to authorities.
Every state in the country except Zacatecas was allocated a “red light” on the federal government’s stoplight system to determine which coronavirus restrictions can be lifted and where but people’s mobility across the country has nevertheless increased, according to data presented by the Health Ministry.
The government will announce updated stoplight colors for each of Mexico’s 32 federal entities on Friday.