While Mexico surpassed 200,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 Thursday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrado says that it is a race against time to get people over 60 vaccinated before a resurgence.
The president plans to deploy more military, state and local personnel to help citizens get vaccinated as more doses arrive, including a shipment of 1.7 million AstraZeneca shots “loaned” from the U.S.
Mexico’s official death total is 200,211. The true death toll is believed to be closer to 300,000, but cannot be confirmed due to the country’s extremely low rate of testing.
“I think it is more, I think, for example, that numbers on the news are not correct, I think it is higher,” said funeral home worker Benigno Clemente Zarate about the country’s death toll.
Zarate said he has tended to multiple deaths within a single household.
“We have some jobs where two or three people have died in the same household, in the same family,” He said.
The Mexican government stopped publishing the most current death toll numbers near the end of 2020. The last time numbers were reported was the start of January, before the worst of the second wave of deaths.
Mexico City authorities pushed excess death figures through the end of February that show January’s deaths were nearly 46% higher than the city’s first COVID-19 wave in June.
Mexico City’s population of 9 million suffered 38,627 deaths. Though the city only has 7.1% of the country’s population, its suffered 19.3% of the country’s total deaths.
In a March 6-9 poll, only 52% of the 1,000 Mexicans surveyed said they would be willing to get vaccinated, according to the GEA-ISA polling firm; 20% said they were unsure, and 28% said they would not get vaccinated. The poll reported a plus-or-minus 3.1% margin of error.
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