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A transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. Virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, which means crown-like. A transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. Virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, which means crown-like. Rocky Mountain Laboratories/NIAID

COVID cases keep rising as death toll approaches 300,000

Only four countries have recorded more pandemic deaths than Mexico

Mexico recorded its highest single-day tally of new coronavirus cases since late August on Wednesday, while the official COVID-19 death toll approached 300,000.

The Health Ministry reported 20,626 new cases, elevating the accumulated tally to just under 4.03 million. An additional 94 COVID-related fatalities lifted the death toll to 299,805.

Only four countries – the United States, Brazil, India and Russia – have recorded more pandemic deaths than Mexico.

Mexico’s fatality rate is 7.4 per 100 confirmed cases, the highest among the 20 countries currently most affected by COVID, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University. Its mortality rate is 235 per 100,000 people, the 25th highest in the world. Peru ranks first with 624 COVID deaths per 100,000 people followed by Bulgaria (449) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (410).

Mexico’s estimated active case tally rose to 80,510 on Wednesday, a 31% increase compared to Tuesday. Baja California Sur remains the country’s COVID epicenter with almost 700 active cases per 100,000 people. That’s more than triple the per capita rate in Mexico City, which ranks second for current infections with just over 200 per 100,000 residents.

Quintana Roo ranks third with about 200 active cases per 100,000 people. No other state has more than 100.

In other COVID-19 news:

• Baja California has become the first state to make presenting a vaccination certificate compulsory for customers who wish to enter establishments such as bars, restaurants and nightclubs. The new rule, which will be policed by the State Commission for Protection against Health Risks, took effect Wednesday.

The same rule entered into force in the municipality of Culiacán, Sinaloa, on Tuesday.

• Despite the national increase in case numbers as the highly contagious omicron strain continues to spread, residents of Acapulco, Guerrero, have fewer rather than more options when it comes to getting tested. Two public testing stations where people were formerly able to get tested free of charge are no longer in operation after being dismantled last month, the newspaper Reforma reported.

It is unclear whether they will be set up again. Acapulco currently has 192 active cases, according to the Guerrero government, more than any other municipality in the state.

The Mazatlán International Carnival will not go ahead in late February and early March if coronavirus case numbers are high at that time, said Sinaloa Health Minister Héctor Cuén.

He told a press conference that the Sinaloa General Health Council has the authority to cancel the annual event – a week of nonstop festivities – if it deems it to be a public health risk. “We put the health of sinaloenses first,” Cuén said.

• Gaining access to a COVID-19 test in the public health system is becoming more difficult as demand increases, but another option for people who want or need to get tested is private labs. Visitors to Mexico who require a negative test result to return home can get tested at such labs, while testing services are also available at the country’s major airports.

Aeroméxico has an alliance with certain laboratories with exclusive benefits for people with bookings on that airline and Delta Air. More details about the alliance, and private lab testing locations in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Cancún, are available on the Aeroméxico website.

Some states include positive test results from private lab tests in their coronavirus case data but the federal government – to Mexico News Daily’s best knowledge – does not, meaning that infections are significantly underreported.

With reports from La Voz de la Frontera, Reforma and Noroeste 

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