Mexico marks new daily record in deaths from pandemic

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s health ministry confirmed 1,803 new coronavirus deaths on Thursday, a daily record since the pandemic began last year in the country with the fourth-highest death toll.

The previous record was set earlier this week at over 1,500 deaths.

While President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has often claimed the outbreak in Mexico has been contained, signs of a worsening crisis abound.

A severe shortage of oxygen tanks in the capital Mexico City used to treat infected people with compromised lungs, combined with a fourfold rise in prices in recent weeks, is one of the latest problems.

The additional fatalities on Thursday bring the total number of deaths to 146,174, according to the government’s official count.

Only the United States, Brazil and India – all much more populous than Mexico – have reported more COVID-19 fatalities.

Last October, the health ministry modified its counting methodology and the following day reported some 2,700 deaths, but the figure did not reflect a single day’s count.

As in other countries, Mexico has begun rolling out its vaccination program, but at the same time the ranks of infected people swells, some days by the tens of thousands.

The ministry confirmed 22,339 more new infections on Thursday, bringing the total number of to 1,711,283 infections.

Even the ministry’s top officials have acknowledged that the real number of infections and deaths is almost certainly significantly higher than the official count due to a lack of widespread testing.

(Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Christian Schmollinger, Michael Perry and Grant McCool)

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