Mexico’s official Covid-19 death toll passed 30,000 on the weekend and a new-single day record for case numbers lifted the accumulated tally above 250,000.
The death toll now stands at 30,639 after the Health Ministry reported 523 additional fatalities on Saturday and 273 on Sunday.
Mexico has now recorded the fifth highest number of Covid-19 deaths in the world after the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Italy.
President López Obrador stressed in a video message on Sunday that the death rate per million people is much lower in Mexico than in European countries such as France and Spain, which have similar death tolls but significantly smaller populations.
As of Sunday, Mexico had recorded 237.6 confirmed Covid-19 fatalities per million people, according to the Oxford University website Our World in Data.
The United States has recorded 392.6 fatalities per million, while the other countries with higher official death tolls than Mexico – Brazil, the United Kingdom and Italy – have rates of 305.2, 651.4 and 576.6, respectively.
Mexico’s real death rate, however, could be much higher as a growing number of independent studies suggest that tens of thousands of fatalities have not been included in the official death toll.
Based on confirmed cases and deaths, Mexico’s fatality rate is currently 11.9 per 100 cases, well above the global rate of 4.7.
The real fatality rate is almost certainly considerably lower because the government is not testing widely for coronavirus, meaning that a high number of cases don’t show up in the official tally.
Mexico passed 250,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases on Saturday with a record 6,914 cases added.
The Health Ministry reported 4,683 new cases on Sunday, increasing the total to 256,848. Just over 10% of the confirmed cases – 26,295 – are considered active, meaning that number of people tested positive after developing coronavirus symptoms in the past 14 days.
There are also 71,305 suspected cases across the country while 641,142 people have been tested. Just under 5,000 people per million inhabitants have been tested in Mexico, a figure dwarfed by figures for many other countries.
The United States has completed more than 113,000 tests per million people, while Canada has performed almost 78,000 tests per million inhabitants, according to data published by the German statistics portal Statista. In Latin America, Brazil’s testing rate is more than three times higher than Mexico’s, while that of Chile is more than 12 times higher.
At Sunday night’s coronavirus press briefing, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell presented a graph that showed that Tabasco, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Mexico City and Coahuila have recorded the highest number of new cases in recent weeks.
However, the incidence of new cases in Mexico City, the country’s coronavirus epicenter, declined during three consecutive weeks to June 27, he said.
“There is a progressive and consistent decrease in the Covid-19 incidence in Mexico City,” López-Gatell said, adding that case numbers for the capital also declined last week.
However, that data is not yet considered useful for epidemiological purposes, he said.
The graph showed that the five states with the lowest incidence of new Covid-19 infections are currently Zacatecas, Chihuahua, Morelos, Querétaro and Chiapas.
López-Gatell also presented national data that showed that 44% of general care hospital beds set aside for coronavirus patients are currently occupied while 38% of those with ventilators are in use.
Tabasco has the highest occupancy rate for general care beds, with 77% currently in use, followed by Nayarit and Nuevo León, where 73% and 66% of beds, respectively, are occupied.
At 61%, Baja California has the highest occupancy rate for beds with ventilators, followed by Nuevo León and México state, which have rates of 57% and 53%, respectively.
López-Gatell said that the coronavirus mitigation restrictions put in place by the government have been successful in avoiding the saturation of Mexico’s health system.
“We haven’t had critical situations in which … hospital capacity has been overwhelmed,” he said.