Tuesday, 20 Apr 2021

Mexico begins digging mass graves as Covid deaths surpass 200,000

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Mexico has begun digging mass graves to cope with the surging death toll from coronavirus.

The Central American nation exceeded 200,000 Covid-19-related deaths on Thursday.

But many fear the actual figure is up to 100,000 higher than records suggest. And it is thought the worst is yet to come.

The country is now the third worst affected in the world, behind Brazil and the US.

The Mexican government has not published official figures at the end of last year – before the second wave fully took hold.

Funeral home worker Benigno Clemente Zarate said: "I think that the numbers on the news are not correct, I think it’s actually higher.

"We have had some jobs where two or three people have died in the same household, even in the same family."

However, the country's capital, Mexico City, continued to publish the number of excess deaths until the end of February.

Its figures revealed the death toll in January was nearly 46 per cent higher than during the first wave in June.

Patricia Silva Caudillo, 46, whose her husband Pedro Capilla, 51, died after he contracted Covid-19. It is thought he was infected at a hospital where he was being treated for diabetes.

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“He was everything to me,” she said. “He was my companion and my support.”

Raquel Díaz, who also lost a relative to the disease, said: “This has left a lot of pain, a lot of tragedy and it has left so many people orphaned or widowed.

“I don’t think this pandemic has brought anything good.”

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador has vowed to speed up the country’s vaccination rollout, declaring it as a "race against time."

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He said he hoped everyone over 60 would be given their first jab by the end of April.

He added that Mexico had agreed a deal with the US to "loan" 1.7million shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

"We have to avoid any rebound, an undesired, extraordinary situation of a rebound in infections like those that are occurring in some other parts of the world," he said.

  • Coronavirus
  • In the News
  • Family

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