Mexico recorded more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths and over 15,000 new cases on Tuesday as the third wave of the pandemic continues to afflict much of the country.
The Health Ministry reported 1,071 additional fatalities, lifting the official death toll to 265,541. The accumulated case tally rose by 15,784 to just under 3.45 million.
There are 96,051 estimated active cases across Mexico, a 3.3% increase compared to Monday. Mexico City has the highest number of active cases followed by Tabasco, Nuevo León, México state, Jalisco and Guanajuato.
Just one state – Chihuahua – has fewer than 500 active cases, according to the Health Ministry, while only seven others have fewer than 1,000. They are Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Chiapas, Morelos, Sinaloa and Zacatecas.
In other COVID-19 news:
• Oaxaca is one of many states currently recording high case numbers amid the delta variant-driven third wave of the pandemic. State Health Minister Juan Carlos Márquez Heine said Monday that 13 hospitals were at capacity and 17 additional people had lost their lives to COVID-19.
The southern state has recorded more than 70,000 cases since the beginning of the pandemic including 204 on Monday. Its official death toll is 4,567.
• More than 87.7 million vaccine doses have been administered in Mexico after 525,667 shots were given on Monday. About two-thirds of Mexico’s adult population has received at least one shot, according to federal data.
However, only 46% of the entire population of Mexico (adults and children) has had at least one shot and just 28% is fully vaccinated, according to The New York Times vaccinations tracker.
That means millions of Mexicans remain vulnerable to infection and illness as the highly contagious delta strain circulates widely. Many of the new cases have been detected in young people, who are far less likely to be fully vaccinated, and children, who have been shown to be more susceptible to infection with delta than previous variants.
• However, vaccinating children now would mean taking taking vaccine doses away from people with a greater risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said Tuesday.
“The risk progressively declines for [people of] younger ages,” he told reporters at President López Obrador’s regular news conference.
“… For every dose that is diverted to a boy or girl … due to legal action or these injunction rulings, for example, you’re taking the opportunity [to get vaccinated] away from a person who has a greater risk,” the coronavirus point man said.
His remarks came just days after a 12-year-old with diabetes challenged him to tell her where and when she can get vaccinated against COVID-19 after being denied that opportunity despite having a federal court injunction ordering that she be given a shot.
Several other children have been granted injunctions ordering their vaccination. The federal government has not announced any plans to vaccinate children, although the health regulator Cofepris has approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine to inoculate those 12 and over.
López-Gatell said Tuesday that the government hasn’t ruled out the possibility of vaccinating children but emphasized the importance of offering shots to all adults first.
“On October 31 we’ll be finishing the vaccination of people 18 and over with at least one dose. Then we’ll be able to consider the possibility of extending [vaccination] to those aged 16 to 18,” he said.
• A man threw himself out of a fourth floor window of a hospital in Puebla after he was told he had COVID-19. The newspaper El Universal reported that the incident occurred at Hospital Puebla in the Angelópolis zone of the state capital. The senior citizen died as a result of his fall.