March 19, 2020 / 9:28 AM / 19 days ago

Diabetic man becomes Mexico's first coronavirus death

Newspapers informing the first person dead due coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country are displayed at Reforma Avenue, in Mexico City, Mexico March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Gustavo Graf

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico has registered its first death from coronavirus, a 41-year-old diabetic Mexican man whose symptoms began last week, the health ministry said late on Wednesday.

No more details were immediately available.

Earlier, the Mexican health ministry said the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Mexico rose by 27% in the 24 hours through Wednesday afternoon to 118 from 93 a day earlier.

Mexico recorded its first case of coronavirus infection on Feb. 28, and concern is growing about the outbreak’s potential impact on the country, where the health system is in the midst of what has been a challenging shake-up of drug procurement.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has resisted calls to order public restrictions that could damage the struggling economy, even as the United States and Canada toughen up measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus.

Earlier in the day, the mayor of Tijuana, the biggest Mexican city on the U.S. border, urged residents to restrict visits to the United States to lower the risk of infection.

The mayor, Arturo Gonzalez, said that residents should not cross into the United States unless it was imperative.

Reporting by Dave Graham and Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Robert Birsel & Simon Cameron-Moore

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