News Coronavirus Mexico reels as known COVID infections soar to 20,000-plus cases per day

Mexico reels as known COVID infections soar to 20,000-plus cases per day

Relatives of a one more coronavirus victim pay their respects in Mexico City. Photo: Getty
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Mexico has posted a second day of more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases, suggesting a surge in a country already struggling in many areas with overflowing hospitals.

There were 20,523 newly confirmed cases on Saturday, after 21,366 infections were reported Friday. That was about double the daily rate of increase just a week ago.

The country also recorded 1,219 more deaths, a near-record.

They are the official figures, but in a country where Third World poverty characterises rural villages no one knows for sure how many have become infected.

Mexico has now seen almost 1.63 million total infections and has registered over 140,000 deaths during the pandemic.

The country’s extremely low testing rate means that is an undercount, and official estimates suggest the real death toll is closer to 195,000.

Teams vaccinating frontline health care workers administered about 25,000 shots on Saturday, bring the total so far to over 463,000.

The numbers are still inadequate for the 750,000 frontline health care workers, each of whom will require two doses.

Mexico has reported severe reactions to the Pfizer vaccine in 24 people, of whom six remain hospitalised.

In Mexico City, the current centre of the pandemic in Mexico, 88 per cent of hospital beds are full.