Mexican President mourns 39,000 virus deaths

MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Mexican President Manuel Lopez Obrador on Sunday vowed to improve health standards in the nation, which has the fourth-highest coronavirus death toll in the world, as the number of fatalities rose to nearly 39,000.

“We want to remember those who died from the COVID-19 pandemic, and send a loving, fraternal hug to their relatives, to their friends,” Lopez Obrador said in a video released on social media.

Mexico, with 127 million inhabitants, had recorded 38,888 deaths from the new coronavirus, according to health authorities on Saturday, with additional suspected coronavirus deaths lifting the total to more than 40,000.

Mexico has the second-highest death toll in Latin America after Brazil, which has 78,772 deaths.

“There will be time later to pay tribute with all the protocol and ceremonies – a solemn tribute to those who have lost their lives due to this terrible pandemic,” added Lopez Obrador, flanked by a Mexican flag and two soldiers.

He read out 10 commitments to protect those vulnerable to COVID-19, including tackling “diseases caused by hunger and poverty”, launching “a permanent campaign” to promote healthier eating and lifestyles, and treating hypertension, diabetes and obesity as a priority.

Mexican President Manuel Lopez Obrador. PHOTO: AP