Mexico posted a record spike in coronavirus cases on Friday, with 21,366 newly confirmed infections, about double the daily rate of increase just a week ago. The country also recorded 1,106 more deaths.
It was unclear if the spike was due to the presence of the UK virus variant, of which only one case has so far been confirmed in a visiting British citizen.
The country has now seen almost 1.61 million total infections and has seen registered over 139,000 deaths so far in the pandemic.
The country’s extremely low testing rate means that is an undercount, and official estimates suggest the real death toll is closer to 195,000. So little testing is done that eight percent of all those who got a test later died during recent weeks; normally, only people with severe symptoms are tested.
Teams vaccinating frontline health care workers administered about 59,000 shots on Friday, bring the total so far to over 415,000. The numbers are still inadequate for the 750,000 frontline health care workers, each of whom will require two doses.
In Mexico City, the current center of the pandemic in Mexico, 90 percent per cent of hospital beds are full.
Mexico has pinned much of its hopes on cheaper, easier-to-handle vaccines made by China’s CanSino. But that vaccine has not yet been approved for use.
The country has also expressed interest in getting the AstraZeneca vaccine and the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.