Mexico has reached 155,145 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. This makes it the third-highest country after U.S. and Brazil. It overtook India, which had a death toll of 153,847.
Far from over
The crisis is far from over. Approximately 215 countries and regions all over the world have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many countries have once again enforced restrictions as the virus cases rose at the turn of the year. All over the world, there have been cases and deaths. The U.S. has the highest COVID-19 deaths.
On Thursday alone, in Mexico, the total confirmed deaths were 1,506. This comes even as the rate of testing in Mexico is generally low. Experts suggest that the actual figures would be even higher, getting close to 195,000. There were 18,670 newly confirmed cases, which brings the total to 1.82 million.
The country’s president Manuel Lopez Obrador tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend and has largely been out of the public eye. He continues to receive treatment at his official residence.
Eyes on Sputnik V
So far, Mexico has been able to get only about 760,000 doses of vaccines. It is hoping for a new vaccine candidate, Sputnik V, from Russia. However, the vaccine is yet to pass through phase 3 testing. This is supposed to yield data about the effectiveness of the vaccine. Such data is necessary before the vaccine can be approved to be administered to people.
Despite this, assistant Health secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell stated earlier in the week that steps are in place for Mexico to approve the Sputnik V vaccine. According to her, the Health Ministry has obtained statistics from Argentina, where the vaccine has already been applied, and they are willing to go ahead and administer it.
Nevertheless, this rather hasty decision has caused a stir among experts who believe that the vaccine should not be approved until it is properly tested and the data is made public.
Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell responded that much damage had been done already; therefore, the process needs to be hastened. She accused critics of being against vaccination, stating that vaccination was the only way forward.
Authorities Resist Lockdowns
The president has resisted the urge to impose lockdowns as done in other countries. He has also avoided direct stimulus to ease the virus brother’s economic impact on efforts to clamp down on corruption.
“The pandemic is painful, but corruption is more painful and brutal. It is worse than an illness.”
Manuel Lopez Obrador made this remark a day after the daily record rose to about 1,803 COVID-19 deaths.
In Latin America, based on COVID-19 deaths per capita, Mexico is one of the top three nations. Elsewhere in India, the COVID-19 fatality rate has been on the decrease. It had declined to about a tenth of its daily figures in September when it had about 100 deaths daily. Just as the country with a population of about 1.3 billion relaxed its stringent lockdown last year, following an improvement in the COVID-19 situation. This progress was largely due to widespread vaccination that took place in India. The vaccination campaign was successful, and Indiacouldo confidently relaxes the restrictions it had put in place.
The Lopez Obrador government has been sending mixed signals to the public regarding guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus. Previously he had implored people to stay home, wear a mask, and observe social distancing. However, he could be seen in public taking commercial flights and appearing in photographs without a mask on in recent times.
Mexico began administering the Pfizer vaccine towards the end of December, but it is yet to see any improvements in the pandemic situation. Hospitals have had a high occupancy of about 90% in the capital of Mexico City. Hospital beds in other states have also been filling throughout the country. Statistics from the Health Ministry indicate that most states have occupancy rates above 70%.