Mexico’s confirmed coronavirus caseload rose past 700,000 on Monday, according to updated data from the health ministry officials, along with a reported death toll of 73,697.
Authorities reported 2,917 new cases, bringing the total to 700,580, along with 204 deaths on Monday, but the true figures are likely significantly higher due to little testing. Mexico has the fourth highest number of deaths attributed to the pandemic.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell, who has been the public face of the government's coronavirus strategy, has conceded that the real number of cases in the country is significantly higher.
Lopez-Gatell argues that the outbreak in Mexico has shown signs of slowing over the past couple months, however.
We've now seen seven consecutive weeks of a downward-sloping trend, he said at a news conference Sunday, referring to the rate of infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was criticized early on for minimizing the health crisis, still encouraging families to go out to restaurants even as other countries were imposing lockdown measures. He has very rarely used a mask in public.