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Mexico saw a record increase in coronavirus cases on Friday with 21,366 newly confirmed infections, roughly twice the daily rate of increase a week ago. The country also recorded 1,106 other deaths.
It was unclear whether the increase was due to the presence of the UK virus variant, of which only one case has so far been confirmed in a visiting UK citizen.
The country has now recorded a total of nearly 1.61 million infections and has so far recorded over 139,000 deaths in the pandemic.
The country’s extremely low testing rate means this is an undercount, and official estimates put the real death toll closer to 195,000. So few tests are done that 8% of those who were later tested have died in the past few weeks. Usually only people with severe symptoms are tested.
Teams vaccinated on the front line in the health care sector administered about 59,000 shots Friday, bringing the total to over 415,000. The numbers are still insufficient for the 750,000 frontline healthcare workers who require two cans each.
In Mexico City, the current center of the pandemic in Mexico, 90% of hospital beds are full.
Mexico has high hopes for cheaper, easier-to-use vaccines from China’s CanSino. However, this vaccine has not yet been approved for use.
The country has also expressed an interest in the AstraZeneca vaccine and the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.
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