Published On: Sat, Jun 20th, 2020

Mexico blows past 20,000 coronavirus deaths

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Coronavirus deaths in Mexico surpassed 20,000 on Friday after the health ministry reported 647 new fatalities and 5,030 new confirmed cases.

Total cases now stand at 170,485, with 20,394 fatalities, though the government has said the real number of infections is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

The planned next stage of reopening of businesses in Mexico appeared to be put off once again Friday, June 19, as new confirmed cases and deaths continued at near-record levels.

The Health Department reported 5,030 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 647 more deaths, both numbers down just slightly from Thursday.

The daily death toll has been hovering around 700 for much of this week, while the daily case load increase has hovered near 5,000. Mexico now has 170,485 confirmed cases and 20,394 deaths, though both numbers are considered undercounts due to extremely limited testing.

The country had been hoping to authorize a broad new round of openings for businesses like hotels, restaurants and shopping malls.

But authorities in Mexico City, which has been hardest hit by the pandemic, said hospital occupancy and case numbers had not decreased to the point where reopening malls and street markets would be possible. The city has about 70% of its hospital beds occupied.

Last week, a half of Mexico’s 32 states had reached a level compatible with limited reopening, such 50% of hotel or restaurant capacity. The few states where hotels did open actually resumed operations with lower occupancy rates, at around 30%.

This week, only one more state progressed to limited reopening status.

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