Mexico posted its biggest single-day jump in coronavirus cases on Monday as the deputy health minister said the country needed to recruit more medical personnel to confront a worsening outbreak.
Mexico registered 296 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s total to 2,439 cases and 125 deaths, health officials told a news conference.
Predicting that cases in the country would continue to rise sharply, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said Mexico had among the lowest number of medical personnel relative to population among countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“That creates a challenge for us, and we need to recruit and train health personnel,” he said.
Lopez-Gatell said the country’s predicament would become more dire after April 30, when the “epidemic curve” would begin rising.
“Unavoidably, we will have more and more and more and more cases,” he said. “This is the moment to stay in our homes and reduce transmission because the situation will be even more intense.”
Mexico’s COVID-19 infection numbers are being under-reported due to a lack of testing. Mexico has only tested 13,000 people, and only about 10% of people with symptoms of COVID-19 are being tested. Jalisco’s Governor accused the federal government of trying to hide the extent of COVID-19 in the country by limiting testing and refusing the use of rapid tests.
Reporting by Diego Ore and Abraham Gonzalez; Additional reporting and writing by Julia Love; Editing by Peter Cooney