Mexico might have 26,500 people infected with the coronavirus, a senior health official said on Wednesday, citing government models.
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Mexico has reported 3,181 confirmed cases of the virus, but many who are infected likely did not have symptoms or were not diagnosed, said Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell.
“From what you can see, the epidemic is eight times bigger,” he told a news conference.
The estimate of 26,500 cases is based on a model called “Sentinel Surveillance,” which uses the number of cases in 375 health districts to extrapolate for the rest of the country, Lopez-Gatell said.
Mexico reported 396 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, while the number of deaths rose to 174.
Mexico has only done 15,000 COVID-19 tests nationwide, making it difficult to understand the spread of the virus and causing under-reporting.
Many health workers in the IMSS Healthcare System of Mexico have sound the alarm that the government managed health system is hiding cases of COVID-19, a claim that the government has denied.
Last week, Mexico took the initiative to extend the National Sana Distancia Day until April 30, as a preventive measure to avoid large mobilizations and prevent the contagion curve from reaching uncontrollable levels. Yesterday, the arrival of medical supplies from China and 10 specialist doctors from Cuba was announced to help in the fight against the virus.