HORRIFYING pictures show the number of freshly dug mass graves needed to cope with the Covid crisis in Mexico – with fears worse could come yet.
🦠 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates…
The real death toll is presumed to be something closer to 300,000 due to the country’s extremely low rate of testing.
The Mexican government stopped publishing numbers on excess death figures at the end of 2020, before the worst of the second wave hit.
“I think that the numbers on the news are not correct, I think it’s actually higher,” funeral home worker Benigno Clemente Zarate said of the death toll.
“We have had some jobs where two or three people have died in the same household, even in the same family.”
Mexico City, which has become one of the hardest hit cities in the world, published excess death figures through to the end of February.
They show that January’s deaths were almost 46 per cent higher than in the city’s first wave in June with the human toll of the pandemic extremely high.
Patricia Silva Caudillo, 46, was a mourner at one of the city’s cemeteries to bury her husband, 51-year-old construction worker Pedro Capilla.
He was a diabetic who was being treated at a local hospital where it is assumed he was infected with Covid-19.
“He was everything to me,” she said. “He was my companion and my support.”
Raquel Díaz also came to the cemetery to bury a relative.
“This has left a lot of pain, a lot of tragedy and it has left so many people orphaned or widowed,” she said.
“I don’t think this pandemic has brought anything good.”
With the deaths spiralling out of control, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared on Thursday to ramp up the country’s vaccination program, framing it as a “race against time.”
He called on more militarily, state and local personal to aid the effort to get all over 60’s vaccinated with at least one does by the end of April.
This included agreeing a shipment of 1.7million AstraZeneca shots, which he says will be “loaned” from the US.
He added: “We have to avoid any rebound, an undesired, extraordinary situation of a rebound in infections like those that are occurring in some other parts of the world.
“We do not want a resurgence.”
The Mexican government has been widely using two Chinese-made vaccines.
Suspicion remains, however, among the general public due to a lack of information on the vaccine’s effectiveness.