Mexico reaches 1 million virus cases, nears 100,000 deaths

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MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - MARCH 31: A pedestrian walks in the downtown wearing a face mask as preventive measurement against the spread of Coronavirus on March 31, 2020 in Mexico City, Mexico. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Oswaldo Amaya/Jam Media/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – MARCH 31: A pedestrian walks in downtown wearing a face mask as preventive measurement against the spread of Coronavirus on March 31, 2020, in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Oswaldo Amaya/Jam Media/Getty Images)

Mexico surpassed one million COVID-19 cases on Saturday, registering 5,860 new infections over the previous day in a country with one of the world’s highest death tolls from the virus, the government said.

A total of 1,003,253 people have now tested positive for the virus in Mexico, said health ministry official Ricardo Cortes.

The death toll meanwhile reached 98,259, including 635 registered over the past day, he added.

Mexico has the world’s fourth-highest death toll from the virus behind the United States, Brazil and India, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.

It also has the 11th highest number of infections.

Cases have been spiking in a number of areas of the country.

“We probably still need to see the worst,” Alejandro Macias, former national commissioner against the AH1N1 influenza pandemic in Mexico City in 2009, told AFP.

The government earlier declared a lockdown on March 23, although essential economic activities remained open, with no sanctions for non-compliance.

The mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, announced on Friday the closure of bars for 15 days and earlier closing times for restaurants, cinemas and gyms due to the spike in infections and hospitalizations over the last week.

Sheinbaum also said that daily tests will be increased to 10,000.

The capital has seen an increase in infections since mid-October and remains the epicenter of the pandemic in Mexico.

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