Deaths in Mexico from the coronavirus pandemic have risen above 35,000, with the Latin American country overtaking Italy for the world's fourth-highest death total.
But leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Sunday that the pandemic was losing intensity in Mexico, and blamed what he called conservative media for causing alarm.
Mexico recorded 276 additional fatalities and 4,482 new infections to bring its coronavirus death toll to 35,006, with 299,750 confirmed cases. Italy has recorded 34,954 deaths and 243,061 cases. Mexico trails the United States, Brazil and the UK in total deaths.
While Italy appears to have tamed the virus, the pandemic is showing few signs of easing in Mexico, where the government has faced criticism for reopening its economy too soon.
Lopez Obrador said he was briefed on the pandemic this past week and was optimistic.
Several former officials have criticized Lopez Obrador's administration for its management of the epidemic.
Former Health Minister Salomon Chertorivski, said on Thursday the government had reopened the economy before meeting globally established criteria for doing so. He added that Mexico might need to impose a new lockdown.
There are three fundamental variables: a reduction in the last 14 days in the numbers of contagions, reduction in recent days in the number of deaths, and reduction in the number of hospitalized people, Chertorivski told Mexican newspaper Reforma.
None of those three parameters were achieved.
The coronavirus death toll per million residents in Mexico, whose population numbers about 120 million, is the 16th highest in the world, according to data by research firm Statista.