Mexico announces reopenings despite high toll

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Cemetery foreman Juan Rivera walks with his dogs in the Municipal Cemetery of Valle de Chalco amid the coronavirus pandemic on the outskirts of Mexico City, Monday, June 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Even as Mexico announces plans for reopening churches and religious events, the country is posting near-record numbers of newly confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19.

The Health Department reported on Tuesday that confirmed cases rose by 4,599, the second-highest daily increase to date, to reach an accumulated total of 154,863.

Deaths rose by 730, the third-highest daily confirmation number, after one-day increases of 1,092 and 816 earlier this month. Those death tolls rivaled those of the United States.

Both case and death total — which now stands at 18,310 — are clearly undercounts, because Mexico does very little testing.

Health officials acknowledged Mexico is on a plateau with sustained rates of transmission and deaths, with few if any signs of a decrease. Despite that, business are beginning to reopen after mandatory lockdowns due to the coronavirus.

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