Mexico enters third wave of coronavirus

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Mexico is entering its third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, as infections rose by 29 per cent compared with the previous week.

But the country's health department on Friday said the growth was largely coming from infections among younger, less vulnerable people.

Case numbers are now as high as the beginning of the last surge in September; that wave peaked in January and steadily declined until June.

But at present only about 22 per cent of the country's hospital beds are occupied; hospital beds in many parts of the country were essentially filled to capacity during the last wave.

Authorities said the relative decline of serious cases among older people was a result of the country's vaccination campaign, which as of Friday has given at least one dose to about 39 per cent of all adults.

Assistant Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell said the rise in infections was not due to the arrival of the Delta variant, but rather to an increase in public activity.

Mexico City health authorities said they expected the third wave to peak in August in the capital, which has been the worst hit by COVID-19 in the previous two waves.

Mexico has suffered almost 235,000 test-confirmed deaths, but because the country does so little testing, the government's own figures on excess deaths suggest the true toll is about 360,000 deaths.

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