Mexico had its second worst day of the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday in terms of both new cases and deaths.
The federal Health Ministry reported 20,548 new cases, pushing the accumulated tally to just under 1.69 million. The only day on which more cases were registered was last Friday when the daily tally was 21,366.
The Health Ministry also reported 1,539 additional Covid-19 fatalities, lifting the national death toll to 144,371. Wednesday’s tally was just 45 below the pandemic record of 1,584 deaths, which was set a day earlier.
Mexico currently ranks 13th in the world for accumulated cases and fourth for deaths behind the United States, Brazil and India.
The fatality rate is 8.5 per 100 confirmed cases, the highest rate among the 20 countries currently most affected by Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Mexico’s low testing rate means that the true fatality rate is likely much lower but authorities say that high levels of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension have contributed significantly to the country’s elevated number of deaths.
Mexico’s Covid-19 morality rate is currently 114.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, according to Johns Hopkins University. Among the 20 countries currently most affected by Covid-19, Mexico has the sixth highest rate after the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Italy, the United States and Spain.
Among all countries that have recorded coronavirus cases and deaths, Mexico has the 19th highest per capita death rate.
Hospitals in many states remain under intense pressure as more and more coronavirus patients seek medical care in the wake of gatherings and parties over the Christmas-New Year period.
The occupancy rate for general care beds is 89% in Mexico City, 87% in Guanajuato, 85% in México state, 83% in Puebla, 82% in Hidalgo and 80% in Nuevo León, according to data presented at the Health Ministry’s Wednesday night press briefing.
More than 200 hospitals across Mexico are at 100% capacity for general care beds, according to publicly accessible federal data, and 140 have no unoccupied beds with ventilators.
The federal government began administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to health workers on December 24 but the national vaccination program now faces delays because a shipment of almost 220,000 doses that arrived on Tuesday will be the last until February 15.
Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced Tuesday that millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines made by other companies will arrive in the coming weeks but even if the government achieves its goal of inoculating more than 14 million people by the end of March, the vast majority of Mexico’s population of almost 130 million will still not be protected against the infectious disease.
As of Wednesday, 501,030 shots of the Pfizer vaccine had been administered to health workers but only 11,402 such workers had received both of the required shots.
Twenty nine of Mexico’s 32 states have already administered more than 95% of the vaccine doses they have received while three – México state, Guerrero and Zacatecas – had not reached that mark by Wednesday night.
Mexico News Daily