Mexico in ‘bad shape’ with coronavirus pandemic, WHO chief warns

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The head of the World Health Organization said that “Mexico is in bad shape” with the pandemic and urged its leaders to be serious about the coronavirus and set examples for its citizens.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s comments came Monday as Mexico’s death toll rose to 105,940 — the fourth highest in the world — with 1,113,543 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus. The country’s actual numbers are believed to be much higher partly because of low testing levels.

“The number of increasing cases and deaths in Mexico is very worrisome,” he said in a press briefing.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, center, pictured in early March during a news conference on COVID-19, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone FILE via AP)

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Mexican President Andrés López Obrador has been criticized for often not wearing a mask and, while not mentioning names or specific cases, the WHO chief urged the country’s leaders to take the pandemic seriously.

“We would like to ask Mexico to be very serious,” he said. “We have said it in general, wearing a mask is important, hygiene is important and physical distancing is important and we expect leaders to be examples …”

The Mexican government’s pointman on the pandemic, Hugo López-Gatell, said all the comments are valuable but noted the government had already warned that, with the arrival of winter, the situation would worsen. According to its latest data, the pandemic has grown by 7% in the past week.

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