Mexico likely to surpass 300K Covid-19 deaths this week, fifth highest worldwide

MEXICO CITY – Mexico is likely to surpass 300,000 deaths from Covid-19 this week – the fifth highest death toll in the world – as infections rise after the holiday season, fueled by the Omicron variant of coronavirus and largely unrestrained tourism.

Infections more than doubled to 20,000 in the past week when many US tourists visited Mexico. Eleven of Mexico’s 32 states have chosen not to resume face-to-face classes this week as cases are growing rapidly.

The introduction of the highly contagious variant of Omicron reversed a fall in infections when widespread use of vaccines brought relief.

Some Mexicans said people lost their vigilance when the holidays came.

“A lot of people have been going out since December and there are many who no longer wear face masks,” said Isauro Perez, a 53-year-old taxi driver in Mexico City. “If we don’t take care of ourselves, the government won’t take care of us.”

As of Wednesday, Mexico had recorded 299,805 confirmed deaths from Covid-19, a number likely well below the real figure, officials say.

Separate government data showed there had been nearly 452,000 Covid-19-related deaths by mid-December, and lesser testing likely helped underestimate the virus’s reach.

Mexico has the highest death rate – deaths per confirmed case – of the 20 countries hardest hit by Covid-19 in the world, according to one Analysis from Johns Hopkins University.

Laurie Ximenez-Fyvie, an expert on molecular genetics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), said in the end that the death toll in Mexico is the ultimate measure of the government’s performance in the pandemic.

So far, she argued, it threatened “absolute failure”.

According to figures from Our World in Data, an Oxford University research group, Mexico ran just 0.12 daily coronavirus tests per 1,000 residents in the week ending January 1, up from a high of 0.38 per day in mid-August.

The UK, on ​​the other hand, was performing 20.6 tests per day per 1,000 population as of the end of 2021.

While parts of Europe and the United States have placed additional restrictions with the proliferation of Omicron, Mexico has so far struggled and tourists don’t need negative tests to enter the country.

Experts say the steady rise in new cases could hit Mexico harder than some countries because it has a lower vaccination rate than the United States and much of Europe.

Nationwide, only 56% of the population is fully vaccinated, compared to 62% in the United States and 81% in Spain.

But Mexicans vaccinated willingly, and 95% of Mexico City’s adult residents are fully vaccinated.

However, the government has not introduced its vaccination program for people under the age of 15, despite more children being hospitalized. More than a quarter of Mexico’s population is 14 years or younger, World Bank data shows.

Follow NBC Latino on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Leave a Comment