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Jul 9, 2021

COVID Cases Jump in Mexico and Guatemala

Belize’s borders with neighbouring Mexico and Guatemala remain closed as both countries are reporting a surge in COVID-19 cases over the past week.  In Mexico, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell acknowledged that they are facing a third wave.  Mexico reportedly saw a skyrocketing of COVID cases with over nine thousand, four hundred COVID-related deaths in June.  This is forty-two percent more deaths when compared to May.  Also in June, over one hundred and five thousand COVID cases were identified, a fifty-five percent increase over May.  In Guatemala, the health system is reportedly on the brink of collapse as hospital beds are overflowing.  One media outlet reported earlier this week that on Tuesday, the largest hospital in Guatemala City, San Juan de Dios, was at four hundred percent occupancy with COVID-19 patients.  Meanwhile, the nearby Melchor De Mencos Hospital is also at full capacity. While the Deputy Health Minister of Mexico has acknowledged an increase in hospitalizations, he reportedly said that vaccination is preventing severe COVID-19 disease. Additionally, reports suggest that the highest percentage of cases in Mexico is among the young who have not yet been vaccinated.  The World Health Organization’s GISAID website reveals that up to seven COVID-19 variants have been identified in Mexico.  In Guatemala, only one variant has been identified. Belize is still awaiting variant test results sent abroad.

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