MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Mexico City registered 2,664 more deaths than usual earlier this month as authorities fought to contain the spread of COVID-19 that has strained hospitals and forced the city into a semi-lockdown.
The populous capital’s “excess mortality” from Dec. 1 to 12 – deaths above the typical number from prior years – averaged 214 a day, a government report said on Saturday. That compared to 141 excess deaths a day in November.
The rate peaked in May when Mexico City, with a population of some 9 million, recorded 320 excess deaths per day.
With hospitalizations on the rise, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador met with Mexico City’s mayor to discuss increasing the numbers of hospital beds, equipment and healthcare workers, the president said on Twitter on Saturday evening.
COVID-19 vaccinations for medical staff will continue on Sunday, he said. Mexico’s first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines arrived last week, supplemented by a second shipment, with 42,900 doses, on Saturday.
Mexico’s health ministry on Saturday reported 4,974 confirmed coronavirus infection and 189 COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to 1,377,217 cases and 122,026 deaths.
The government said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than reported cases.
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Diego Ore; Editing by Aurora Ellis and William Mallard)