Mexico City Hospital Beds Filling Up Fast as Covid Cases Surge

Hospital beds with ventilators, used to care for the sickest patients stricken by Covid-19, have filled in Mexico City as cases in the country climb.

The Health Ministry reported Wednesday night that 61% of hospital beds with ventilators are occupied, a rise from 53% the previous week. Deaths nationwide rose by 858 to 103,597 while cases rose by more than 10,000 for the second day straight.

Mexico became the fourth country to surpass 100,000 Covid-19 deaths last week, but officials have acknowledged the toll is actually much higher. The government said in late October that nearly 200,000 more people had died compared with an average of recent years. Some of those died from other causes, but many had Covid and were never tested or died at home.

Mexico has been criticized for its lack of testing and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was slow to impose lockdowns to inhibit the spread of the virus. The country’s virus czar, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell, has defended the response, saying it’s going to take a long-term strategy.

Lopez Obrador has also resisted financial support to alleviate the economic effects of the pandemic, though the country has started a program to help pay funeral costs of families whose relatives have died from the virus.

Read more: The Best and Worst Places to Be in the Coronavirus Era

Mexico ranked last of 53 countries in Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking, which examined data to determine the best places to be during the pandemic.

— With assistance by Justin Villamil, and Jose Orozco

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