| 24 February 2024, Saturday |

Mexico’s coronavirus czar in hospital with COVID-19, as death toll nears 186,000

Mexico’s coronavirus czar has been hospitalized over the past 5 days for COVID-19 treatment but is recovering well, a health official reported on Sunday, as the country marks the one-year anniversary of its first confirmed case.

Hugo Lopez-Gatell, the face of Mexico’s response to the pandemic, has drawn criticism for downplaying the need for masks and for spearheading a strategy of limited testing.

According to a Reuters tally, Mexico has registered 185,715 deaths from COVID-19, giving it the world’s fourth-highest death toll from the pandemic.

Lopez-Gatell was admitted for “early hospitalization” last Wednesday after his medical team determined he required supplemental oxygen, said Ruy Lopez, head of the National Center of Preventative Programs and Disease Control (Cenaprece).

“He has progressed well and we hope he can be released from the hospital unit tomorrow,” Lopez told a news conference.

The epidemiologist announced testing positive for coronavirus on Feb. 20, after having minor symptoms.

A number of senior officials in Mexico have contracted COVID-19, including President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has shunned face masks.

Mexico registered another 458 coronavirus fatalities and 2,810 more confirmed cases on Sunday, for a total of 2,086,938 infections. The real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases, the government says.

  • Reuters