On 3 June Mexican health officials reported that 1,092 people had died from coronavirus (Covid-19) in the past 24 hours – a daily record.
José Luis Alomía, the health ministry’s director of epidemiology, also said that 3,921 new cases were registered over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases to 101,238, of which 11,729 deaths. The continued rise in cases and fatalities casts further doubt on the decision by the federal government led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to start easing lockdown measures. The return to a “new normal” began on 1 June with economic activity gradually resuming on a national level, in line with a four-tiered plan.
- In the press conference yesterday, Alomía said that hospital occupation is at 44% nationally, rising to 74% in Mexico City and the Estado de México.
- Yesterday, deputy health minister Hugo López-Gatell attributed the rise in deaths to the work of a new technical committee, established some weeks ago to better identify which deaths were caused by the virus. He said, “Over the past 20 or 25 days, we have had various cases that were slowly passed on to the registry, for various reasons”, which are only now appearing in the death tallies.
- In an interview with national daily El Universal published yesterday, López-Gatell also appeared to contradict remarks made by President López Obrador on 28 May, that the virus was “under control” in Mexico. López-Gatell said that the virus “was not under control in Mexico or the world” and that what had been meant by “under control” was that the Jornada Nacional de Sana Distancia, the government’s social distancing campaign which ran from 23 March to 31 May, was successful in reducing infection rates.
López Obrador has himself cast doubt on the 'new normal', telling people yesterday, at a press conference in the state of Campeche, to “stay at home” unless it is essential to leave the house. His remarks were made on the third day of a national tour which has been slammed as “irresponsible” by the political opposition given the current pandemic.
In brief: Mexico concludes key negotiation for USMCA
* Mexico’s economy ministry has reported that it has concluded technical negotiations with its counterparts in the US and Canada on the uniform regulations of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), and published the agreed regulations accordingly. The clarification of the rules, which regulate central aspects of the trade deal such as origin requirements and customs administration, was a key demand by the principal vehicle and parts manufacturing unions in Mexico, which have lobbied the government since March to postpone the implementation of the USMCA to give firms more time to adjust to the new rules. This negotiation was one of the final unresolved matters ahead of the agreement coming into force on 1 July.