Covid-19 infections soar as Mexico looks to restart economy

As Mexico moves toward a gradual reactivation of its economy next week, the number of new coronavirus infections grows higher every day. 

A shopper walks past inside a partially-open public market in Mexico City. Source: Associated Press

The spike in cases is raising fears a new wave of infections that other countries have seen after loosening restrictions may be approaching. 

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is straddling the issue, telling the public that the fight against the virus depends on continued social distancing. 

“We're at the point where we begin to have fewer cases,” López Obrador said. “But in these days, we have to be more careful, not relax the discipline, don't trust ourselves.”

The comments came on the same day the government clarified guidelines for the construction, mining and automotive industries to return to work next week.

There were 2,409 new Covid-19 cases today, the first time that number has exceeded 2,000 in one day.

Mexico has a lower rate of testing for the virus than any of the world's largest economies, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

The country’s lockdown, which began in March, will remain in place but particular industries will be allowed to resume after being classified as an essential service by Mexico’s health council. 

Mexico’s health department reported that 73 percent of the city’s general care hospital beds were full; the percentage was lower for intensive-care beds, but that was partly due to improvised ICU units at hospitals.

About 2,000 ventilators purchased by private companies and donated to Mexican hospitals arrived aboard a flight from the US.  

There is concern in the medical community that talk of relaxing social distancing measures is coming too soon and could lead to a devastating second wave of cases.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei announced last night that he was putting the country back on lockdown after a surge of new infections, the first week after allowing shopping malls to reopen.