Mexico sees cases numbers swell, reports 596 new deaths

World

Melvin Sanaurio, front, digs a grave at the San Lorenzo Tezonco Iztapalapa cemetery in Mexico City, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, amid the new coronavirus pandemic. “It takes me more than an hour to dig one grave,” Sanaurio said. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico accumulated 4,199 more confirmed coronavirus cases Tuesday and 596 new deaths, suggesting the planned reopening of broader economic activities may still be far away.

Confirmed deaths had reached a peak of almost 1,100 per day last week, but the daily total had declined for a few days before Tuesday’s rebound. Mexico now has 124,301 confirmed cases and 14,649 deaths, but officials acknowledge that given Mexico’s low rate of testing, the real numbers are probably many times higher.

About one-fifth of Mexico’s cases — 26,666 — are among health care professionals, who have suffered 385 deaths.

Mexico has defended its policy of having performed only about 350,000 tests so far in a nation of 125 million. But an expert from the Pan American Health Organization said testing would have to increase once the initial peak passes and the lock down and social distancing measures are eased.

“When we enter the phase of descent … the diagnostic capacity has to be increased so that every case that is suspected according to the guidelines can get a test, because we have to immediately detect any re-emergence, so that spark won’t ignite a fire,” said Jean-Marc Gabastou, an adviser for the Pan American Health Organization.

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