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World News

Coronavirus in 'sustained decline' in Mexico, top official says

A banner fashioned to resemble a giant protective mask is placed on a monument of Benito Juarez, as a message to the community to fight against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Iztapalapa neighbourhood, one of the highly contagious zones, in Mexico City, Mexico, August 13, 2020. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The coronavirus pandemic is now in “sustained decline” in Mexico after a significant drop in fatalities during the past week, the government’s coronavirus czar Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Tuesday.

In the week through Aug. 17, Mexico’s health ministry recorded 4,020 additional fatalities from the virus, a decline of almost 20% from the previous seven-day period.

Deputy Health Minister Lopez-Gatell and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador have made a series of declarations about how the government is winning the fight against the virus, even as the pandemic continues to hit new records in Mexico.

As recently as Aug. 1, Mexico for the first time registered over 9,000 new cases in a single day. The country has the third highest coronavirus death toll globally, and posted one of its biggest daily tallies earlier this month.

Still, Lopez-Gatell said that in most of Mexico, the number of new daily cases and deaths has been diminishing.

“The epidemic is slowing ... it’s now in a sustained decline,” he told a regular news conference.

Separately, the Mexican government on Tuesday announced it would receive a donation of 100,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) coronavirus tests from Germany as it hosted a delegation of medical experts from Europe’s largest economy in Mexico City.

At present only the United States and Brazil have registered more coronavirus fatalities than Mexico. Nevertheless, in recent weeks, India has been closing the gap on Mexico.

Reporting by Raul Cortes, Daina Beth Solomon and Dave Graham; Editing by Aurora Ellis

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