July 25, 2020 / 4:11 AM / in 16 days

Mexico City mayor warns of potential coronavirus rebound as hospitalizations rise

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The mayor of Mexico City warned on Friday of a possible resurgence of coronavirus cases in the sprawling capital in the coming months, noting that hospitalizations have been on the rise in recent days.

Mexico City and its surrounding areas, home to more than 20 million people, have been the epicenter of the country’s pandemic after infections were first detected in late February. Cases began to level off in mid-June, but authorities now fear that downward trend could reverse.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum told a press conference that in the last five days hospitalizations had increased. At this rate, she cautioned, hospitalization levels by October could exceed those registered in June, at the height of the pandemic.

“It is important to recognize that if we do not change the trend, there could be exponential growth” in cases, she said.

Mexico City’s government began relaxing measures intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus on June 15, leading to the reopening of the dense and bustling historical center, along with shopping centers and restaurants. In addition, thousands of factory workers have returned to their jobs.

Mexico on Thursday reported 8,438 new cases of coronavirus, a record single-day increase, bringing the total number of infections to 370,712. The country, which has the fourth highest death toll of any country, has registered 41,908 overall fatalities.

Reporting by Raul Cortes Fernandez; Editing by Leslie Adler

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