Mexico Passes 100,000 Coronavirus Deaths

Mexico has passed the 100,000 mark in COVID-19 deaths, becoming only the fourth country, behind the United States, Brazil and India.

The announcement came less than a week after the country said it had topped 1 million registered coronavirus cases, though officials agree the number is probably much higher.

Assistant Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell said the milestone was unprecedented.

The response to the virus in Mexico reveals a country divided: some people are so unconcerned they won’t wear masks, while others are so scared they descend into abject terror at the first sign of shortness of breath.

A lack of testing, insufficient hospitals in many areas and the fear of the ones that do exist, has created a fertile breeding ground for ignorance, suspicion and fear.

The government has opted to test cases with severe symptoms, performing around 2.5 million tests in a country of 130 million, and in some vulnerable neighborhoods, rely on the work of health outreach workers.

Critics accuse President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of being too slow to bring in measures to tackle the outbreak when the pandemic began, and of rolling back those restrictions too quickly.

In March the government ran adverts declaring that the virus “is not an emergency situation”, and President Obrador told the media that amulets and prayer were his “protective shield” against infection.

After telling Mexicans to stay at home at the end of March as Covid-19 cases started to rise, Mr Obrador eased regulations in May in a bid to restart the suffering economy.

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