Mexico has registered its first death from the deadly coronavirus. A 41-year-old diabetic Mexican man whose symptoms began last week succumbed to the pandemic, the health ministry said late on March 19. The man had registered symptoms on March 9 and also had diabetes, the ministry said on its Twitter account. Health authorities have reported 118 cases of Covid-19 as of Wednesday evening, up from 93 one day prior.
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 reportedly 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. Earlier, the country has been reportedly criticized for taking a more relaxed approach to fighting the spread of the virus. Despite the increase in the number of cases, the president was seen kissing and hugging people in pueblos, or small towns, in the state of Guerrero.
After a picture of him kissing a young girl on the cheek circulated on social media, the president is now receiving pressure to take the coronavirus test, but the government ruled out giving him a test saying it did not have “scientific logic.”
The Mexican Deputy Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell said in a news conference that it is not worth testing the President as the medical attention given to every person in the country is the same. The President has been criticized for not taking the test as he often travels to poor, rural regions, which could suffer greatly if the virus spreads there.