Mexico’s health ministry on Sunday registered 50 new confirmed deaths from COVID-19, the lowest daily increase reported from the pandemic in over a year, according to government data.
The rise, which brought the official death toll to 221,647, was the smallest since the final Sunday of April 2020, and it follows a steady decline in new daily infections in Mexico during recent weeks as a vaccine roll-out gathers pace.
Mexico has said the real number of coronavirus deaths and infections is likely considerably higher than the official tally. Separate government data has suggested the death toll could be at least 60% above the confirmed figure.
The ministry on Sunday also reported 1,274 new COVID-19 infections, lifting the total to 2,396,604.
Despite the upbeat data, efforts to get life back to normal suffered a setback at the weekend, with authorities in the states of Campeche and Nayarit saying a return to teaching in schools had been suspended due to an uptick in infections.
The government has long said Mexico’s real tally of COVID-19 deaths is likely significantly higher than the confirmed toll, which is one of the highest worldwide.
Relatively low testing rates in Mexico mean that many fatalities are not confirmed, but they may still appear in death certificates as suspected cases, experts say.
The higher death toll estimate was based on a word search of death certificates that mentioned “COVID-19” and other terms relating to the pandemic, the ministry said.
Total excess deaths in Mexico during the pandemic stood at 417,002 by the sixth week of 2021, according to the data.