Mexico’s coronavirus chief ducks calls to resign as country’s death count overtakes U.

Mexico City's giant Central de Abasto market is worrying health officials and residents, but authorities say it can stay open to prevent a major disruption in food supply. This market typically receives more than 15,000 products every day from all over the country, packing the stalls with meat, fruits and vegetables.

MEXICO CITY — The head of Mexico’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic has sidestepped calls to resign after Mexico’s death count rose to overtake the United Kingdom as the third-highest in the world.

Assistant Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell said late Friday that “I express my respect” to the nine of Mexico’s 32 state governors who called for his resignation, adding “I hope we can continue to work together.”

Mexico reported 688 more confirmed COVID-19 deaths on Friday, raising its accumulated total to 46,688. The number of confirmed cases rose by a near-record 8,458, bringing Mexico’s total cases so far to almost 425,000.

A letter calling for Lopez-Gatell’s “immediate” resignation bore the names of 10 state governors, all from opposition parties, was made public Friday, but later one of those governors said he had not approved the letter and distanced himself from it.

The letter blamed the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for “an erratic handling of the epidemic and a lack of efficient response” that simultaneously boosted Mexico’s death toll to the third-highest in the world while suffering an 18.9% drop in economic activity in the second quarter compared to the same period last year.

Trending Stories

  • Trump says he plans to ban TikTok in U.S., opposes Chinese sale

  • Coronavirus: Trudeau announces plans for end of CERB, transition to EI

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Mexico has imposed a very lax and partial lockdown of economic activity that has not stopped high levels of contagion, but has strangled the economy. Rather than testing or contact tracing, the government has focused on expanding hospital facilities.

The federal government has given confusing and mixed messages about whether to wear face masks. Lopez Obrador himself almost never wears one, and said Friday “I will use a face mask when there is no more corruption,” a reference to his administration’s anti-graft crusade, which he views as the country’s main priority.

Many governors have been stung by the federal government’s four-colour “stoplight” scheme indicating whether a state is allowed to reopen businesses gradually. Criteria like the rate of infection or hospital occupation levels are used to determine the colours, ranging from red for the shutdown of all but essential businesses, to green for near-normality. But many have disputed the way those criteria are determined.

View link »

© 2020 The Canadian Press

Related news

US Records Over 2,000 COVID-19 Deaths In A Day After Three Months: Report.

The United States has recorded more than 2,000 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, the highest number of daily fatalities in three months, Johns Hopkins University's real-time tally showed Thursday.

Global COVID-19 Cases Surpass 19 Million With Over 700,000 Deaths: Report.

Coronavirus cases worldwide passed 19 million Thursday, as European nations imposed new travel restrictions and containment measures with fears growing over a second wave of infections.

Iran Is No. 1 Sponsor of Terrorism, U.S. Ambassador To UN Says Ahead Of Arms Embargo Extension

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on August 6 called Iran “the world’s number 1 sponsor of terrorism” a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States plans to hold a UN Security Council vote next week to extend an arms em...

US Senate Passes Bill To Ban TikTok On Government-Issued Devices.

The United States Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a bill banning the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok on government devices.

U.S. Justice Department Seeks Seizure Of Ukrainian Tycoon's Property

The United States is seeking to seize real estate belonging to a powerful Ukrainian tycoon with links to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

By continuing to browse World News (UAZMI), you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and agree to the use of cookies