A new single-day record for coronavirus cases was set on Wednesday but Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell asserted that Mexico’s epidemic is slowing down.
The Health Ministry reported 6,995 new confirmed cases, increasing Mexico’s accumulated tally to 275,003. It was the seventh time that more than 6,000 cases were reported on a single day and the fifth time this month.
The Health Ministry also reported 782 additional Covid-19 fatalities, lifting the official death toll to 32,796.
Active cases increased to 27,891, a spike of 1,334 compared to Tuesday, while there are 80,893 suspected cases across the country.
Mexico City continues to lead the country for accumulated and active cases, with 54,405 of the former and 4,122 of the latter. Case numbers have been on the wane in the capital in recent weeks but data shows that active cases increased by 171 on Wednesday.
México state ranks second for accumulated cases followed by Tabasco, Puebla and Veracruz. México state also has the second largest active outbreak in the country followed by Guanajuato, Nuevo León and Tabasco.
At the municipal level, León, Guanajuato, currently has the largest active outbreak in Mexico, overtaking Puebla city on Wednesday.
The municipalities with the third, fourth and fifth largest outbreaks in the country are Mérida, Yucatán; Centro (Villahermosa), Tabasco; and Iztapalapa, Mexico City.
Mexico City also has the highest Covid-19 death toll in the country, having recorded 7,303 confirmed fatalities as of Wednesday. México state ranks second, with 4,985 deaths, followed by Baja California, where 2,189 people have lost their lives to Covid-19.
The other states with more than 1,000 Covid-19 fatalities are Veracruz, Puebla, Sinaloa, Tabasco and Guerrero.
Health Ministry data shows that 40 pregnant women have died from Covid-19 out of 1,829 who have tested positive. Twenty-eight babies under a year old have also succumbed to the disease.
Despite the record increase in case numbers reported on Wednesday, López-Gatell, the government’s coronavirus point man, told reporters at last night’s press briefing that the speed with which new infections is occurring is decelerating.
“In the national panorama we see that the epidemic is continuing to slow down. This is a message that we’re very interested in highlighting,” he said.
“There is noise, there is a racket of information that suggests things that are technically incorrect and therefore they become lies, whether it’s with the intention of lying or not,” the deputy minister said, presumably referring to media reports that compare Mexico’s death toll with other countries, using absolute numbers rather than per-capita death rates.
“The epidemic in Mexico is slowing down, it hasn’t accelerated and the process of coming out of lockdown, of returning to activities in public spaces has not manifested as a new outbreak or … as an increase in the speed with which the epidemic is occurring. The epidemic is slowing down,” López-Gatell said.
The deputy minister stressed that the easing of coronavirus restrictions comes with the inherent risk that new outbreaks will occur “in one place, two, three, five, or any number.”
“This has happened in every country in the world when they started to come out of lockdown. … Nobody should be surprised that this can happen,” he said.
However, López-Gatell said that there is no evidence that the easing of coronavirus restrictions in the states that have transitioned to an “orange light” on the federal government’s “stoplight” map, used to indicate the risk of infection, has caused case numbers to spike.
“The epidemic in the country as a whole is slowing down,” he reiterated.
“Obviously, the epidemic is still active [but] that there is an increase in the number of cases doesn’t mean that the epidemic is speeding up. One thing is that the epidemic is still in a growth phase … and another thing is that the speed at which this increase is occurring is increasingly slower.”