Mexico recorded more than 11,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday as the third wave of the pandemic continues to gather strength.
The federal Health Ministry reported 11,137 new infections – the highest single-day tally since early February – increasing the accumulated case total to 2.6 million.
There are currently 63,093 active cases across the country, according to Health Ministry estimates, an increase of 23% compared to a week earlier. Just over a third of the estimated active cases – 21,743 – are in Mexico City.
México state ranks second with more than 5,000 followed by Sinaloa, Veracruz, Quintana Roo, Baja California Sur, Nuevo León, Tabasco, Jalisco and Yucatán, all of which have more than 2,000.
An additional 219 Covid-19 fatalities were also reported Tuesday, lifting the official death toll to 235,277, a figure considered a vast undercount. About one in five deaths occurred in Mexico City, the country’s coronavirus epicenter since the beginning of the pandemic.
Speaking at President López Obrador’s regular press conference on Tuesday, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said the third wave of the pandemic began in Mexico four weeks ago, although he only publicly acknowledged its existence a week ago.
He said case numbers in this wave are similar to those in the first and second waves but hospitalizations of Covid-19 patients and deaths are down 75% due to vaccination. Just over a quarter of general care hospital beds set aside for coronavirus patients are currently occupied while 21% of those with ventilators are in use.
Four in 10 Mexican adults have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the latest Health Ministry data, and hundreds of thousands of additional shots are being administered every day. More than half a million were given Monday.
Just over 35.7 million people have received at least one shot and 59% of that number – 20.94 million – are fully vaccinated. The vaccination of seniors concluded earlier this year.
Baja California, where the campaign to vaccinate adults concluded in late June, has the nation’s highest vaccination rate among adults – 79% – followed by Mexico City (63%), Baja California Sur (54%) and Yucatán (52%), the Health Ministry said.
Chiapas, where just 19% of adults are vaccinated, has the lowest rate followed by Puebla and Guerrero, both of which have rates of 29%.
López-Gatell said a campaign is underway to boost the rate in Chiapas, explaining that 41 mass vaccination centers have been set up and health workers are traveling to communities across the state to administer shots. The aim is to reach a 40% vaccination rate by the end of this month.
In northern border municipalities, the government is aiming to vaccinate adults of all ages as quickly as possible to expedite the reopening of the border with the United States to nonessential travel. A mass vaccination campaign is currently underway in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and López-Gatell urged all unvaccinated residents to go and get a shot.
Mexico received more than 6.4 million additional vaccine doses last week and is expected to receive almost 3.8 million this week.
Health Minister Jorge Alcocer said Tuesday that vaccination against Covid-19 can reduce the risk of severe disease and death by up to 96%. Mexico has used six different vaccines – Pfizer, AstraZeneca, CanSino, Sputnik V, SinoVac and Johnson & Johnson – all of which have different efficacy rates.
The Health Ministry on Wednesday reported 12,116 new confirmed cases of Covid and 230 more fatalities, bringing its total figures to 2.61 million infections and 235,507 deaths.
With reports from El Universal