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Deaths reach 101 as coronavirus claims another 9

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Yucatan Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal inspects a new makeshift hospital in Valladolid, built in case existing wards are overwhelmed. Photo: Courtesy

Another nine COVID-19 patients in Yucatan died in the past 24-hours, matching the record high announced Thursday.

A 32-year-old Merida man was the state’s youngest fatality so far.

The remaining deceased were a 69-year-old Halachó woman, a 62-year-old Chikindzonot woman, a 77-year-old Coahuila woman, a 63-year-old Merida man, 45-year-old Maxcanú woman, a 63-year-old Merida man, a 70-year-old Merida man and a 46-year-old Merida man.

Another 53 new infections were registered, the second-highest found in one day, health officials announced. Of those, 34 were in Merida, three in Maxcanú and Samahil, two in Halachó, and one each in Baca, Hunucmá, Izamal, Kanasín, Kopomá, Motul, Peto, Seyé, Tekax, Tekom and Umán.

All but one had preexisting conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or obesity, said Isaac Hernández Fuentes, deputy director of public health, during Friday’s televised briefing. The people they live with are all asymptomatic.

So far Yucatan has had 1,035 confirmed coronavirus cases, although the real number is suspected to be more than four times higher. Of those, 643 have recovered, including 42 in the past 24 hours. Another 182 patients are stable and in home quarantine while the most seriously ill patients are in the hospital — 109 in all, nine more than Thursday.

Across Mexico

There were 2,409 new COVID-19 test confirmations Thursday, the first time that number has exceeded 2,000 in one day.

But as in Yucatan, the real number of infections is far higher. Mexico has a lower rate of testing for the virus than any of the world’s largest economies, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The country’s lockdown — which began in March — will remain in place, but those particular industries will be allowed to resume because Mexico’s top advisory body on the pandemic, the General Health Council, said Tuesday it had decided to classify them as “essential activities.”

There were signs that hospital capacity was nearing its limit Mexico City, the hardest-hit area. The 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 because of the expansion of improvised ICU units at hospitals and other venues.

On Friday, about 2,000 ventilators purchased by private companies and donated to Mexican hospitals arrived aboard a flight from Chicago. The machines are made by Royal Philips, a Dutch company with plants in the U.S., and were acquired by major Mexican companies.

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 infections as resources dwindle and medical personnel are running on fumes.

With information from The Associated Press

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