July 9, 2020 / 12:19 AM / a month ago

Mexico posts new case record to overtake Spain; official says virus 'slowing'

FILE PHOTO: People wait in line along the street before entering the area where stores are open, during the gradual reopening of commercial activities in the city, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, in Mexico City, Mexico July 6, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Romero

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico on Wednesday posted a fresh record for new coronavirus cases reported on a single day, with 6,995 infections, overtaking Spain to register the world’s eighth highest case count, according to a Reuters tally.

Despite the soaring figures, Mexico’s coronavirus czar, Hugo Lopez-Gatell, said the pandemic was “slowing.”

The figures pushed Mexico’s overall tally of infections to 275,003 cases. Mexico on Wednesday also recorded 782 additional fatalities, bringing its overall death toll to 32,796, the world’s fifth highest total.

The government has said the real number of infected people and deaths is likely significantly higher than the confirmed numbers due to low levels of testing.

Lopez-Gatell, the deputy health minister and who spearheads Mexico’s coronavirus response, said the new figures do not mean the spread of the virus is accelerating.

“The epidemic in Mexico is slowing down,” he said, adding that the velocity of the spread was decreasing.

He highlighted progress in Mexico City, the epicenter of the virus. He said despite officials in the capital loosening restrictions and reopening for business two weeks ago, there have been no signals the virus was on the rise.

But he warned the virus remains “active,” and citing a rise in infections in Western Europe, said Mexico faces a risk of fresh outbreaks now that it has reopened its economy.

Mexico’s previous one-day record was last week on Thursday when 6,741 new cases were registered.

Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Leslie Adler

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