Sat | Jan 16, 2021

Mexico tops 100,000 COVID-19 deaths

Published:Friday | November 20, 2020 | 11:15 AM
Workers place the coffin of 86-year-old Gabina Salgado Husca, who died of complications related to the new coronavirus, into her grave in the Valle de Chalco municipal cemetery on the outskirts of Mexico City, Wednesday, November 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico passed the 100,000 mark in COVID-19 deaths, becoming only the fourth country to do so amid concerns about the lingering physical and psychological scars on survivors.

José Luis Alomía Zegarra, Mexico’s director of epidemiology, announced late Thursday that Mexico had 100,104 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, behind only the United States, Brazil, and India.

The milestone comes less than a week after Mexico topped one million registered coronavirus cases, though officials agree the number is probably much higher because of low levels of testing.

The coverage of the back-to-back milestones has raised the hackles of some government officials.

Mexico’s pointman on the pandemic, Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell, bristled when asked about Mexico reaching the 100,000 deaths point, criticising the media for “being alarmist,” in the same way he has criticised those who suggest the government is undercounting COVID-19 deaths or providing contradictory and weak advice on using face masks.

“The epidemic is terrible in itself, you don’t have to add drama to it,” said López-Gatell, suggesting some media outlets were focusing on the number of deaths to sell newspapers or spark “political confrontation.”

“Putting statistics on the front page doesn’t, in my view, help much,” he said.

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