Mexico Virus Cases, Deaths Continue High, Reopening Remote

Jun 20, 2020
7:04 PM

Musicians play their instruments during a protest demanding financial support after not being able to earn a living since March because of the restrictions to curb the spread of the new coronavirus in Mexico City, Friday, June 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The planned next stage of reopening of businesses in Mexico appeared to be put off once again Friday, as new confirmed cases and deaths continued at near-record levels.

The Health Department reported 5,030 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 647 more deaths, both numbers down just slightly from Thursday.

The daily death toll has been hovering around 700 for much of this week, while the daily case load increase has hovered near 5,000. Mexico now has 170,485 confirmed cases and 20,394 deaths, though both numbers are considered undercounts due to extremely limited testing.

The country had been hoping to authorize a broad new round of openings for businesses like hotels, restaurants and shopping malls.

But authorities in Mexico City, which has been hardest hit by the pandemic, said hospital occupancy and case numbers had not decreased to the point where reopening malls and street markets would be possible. The city has about 70% of its hospital beds occupied.

Last week, a half of Mexico’s 32 states had reached a level compatible with limited reopening, such 50% of hotel or restaurant capacity. The few states where hotels did open actually resumed operations with lower occupancy rates, at around 30%.

This week, only one more state progressed to limited reopening status.