Mexico reached 46,688 deaths from covid-19 this Friday (31) and became the third country with the most deaths from the disease, surpassing the United Kingdom, according to Johns Hopkins University’s count of 46,204.
Thus, according to data from the American institution, the country is second only to the United States (153,268) and Brazil (92,475).
Mexican health authorities have reported 688 deaths from the disease since yesterday, in addition to 8,458 contagions, which has led to 424,637 cases of coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic – it is the sixth country in number of infections in a list led by the USA (4,556,232), Brazil (2,662,485), India (1,638,827), Russia (838,461) and South Africa (493,183 ).
The mechanism for tracking the disease in Mexico has caused controversy, because the country is one of the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that performs the least diagnostic tests.
The authorities admitted that there are underreporting of cases and deaths and, on Friday, said the actual number of contagions is estimated at 466,948 (42,311 more than the official), and that of deaths, at 48,615 (1,927 above the official) ).
However, several investigations by Mexican media outlets, based on death certificates, indicate that the number of deaths in cities such as the capital, Mexico City, may be double or triple the government count.
Undersecretary of Health Hugo López-Gatell, responsible for combating the pandemic, has always reiterated that it is “impossible” to have exact figures in a pandemic and argued that the health strategy should be designed based on other data, such as the speed of virus transmission .
In a joint statement, 10 governors opposed to the government of President Andres Manuel López Obrador on Friday called for Lopez-Gatell to resign for giving “contradictory, confusing and inconsistent information”.
The use of masks to prevent contagion has also sparked controversy in Mexico, as, despite the recommendation of federal and state authorities, López Obrador himself refuses to use it in public.
“I’m going to wear a mask. Do you know when? When there is no more corruption,” the president said on Friday in response to criticism from the opposition.
Mexico, which registered its first case on February 28, closed economic activities considered non-essential during April and May like several other countries, and in June it began a slow reopening, despite the contagion curve not being flattened.
The pandemic sank Mexico’s GDP by 18.9% in the second quarter, a historic drop that affects an economy that has been shrinking for more than a year.