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Mexico City's third wave of pandemic drives up hospital occupancy

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People queue to receive a dose of the Sputnik V coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the Mexico City Arena, in Mexico City, Mexico July 20, 2021. REUTERS/Luis Cortes/File Photo

MEXICO CITY, July 23 (Reuters) - COVID-19 hospitalizations in Mexico City and its suburbs, home to some 21 million people, increased by a third in the last week, authorities said on Friday, amid a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

There are currently 3,382 people hospitalized in the metropolitan area of ​​the Valley of Mexico, city official Eduardo Clark said. He added that if necessary more hospital beds would be turned over to COVID-19 treatment.

Positive coronavirus test results, however, had decreased since mid-July, he said.

"Fortunately, we see signs that in the last week positive (results) have stabilized," Clark said at a news conference, citing it as a sign that the infection curve might be flattening.

Mexico has been going through its third wave of the pandemic since early June. Cases have now surpassed those of the first wave last year, though hospitalizations have remained under the high levels seen at that time, due to vaccine distribution among the population at highest risk.

In the capital, as in the rest of the country, the vast majority of those currently infected are young, many of whom have not been vaccinated. Hospitalizations were rising the fastest among people aged 30 to 39, Clark said.

In Mexico City, most people over 49 have already received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Nationwide, 30% of the population has received at least one dose.

The wave of infections is concentrated in people 18 to 39, Clark said.

"We have to reinforce the message to the young people of Mexico City about the measures of personal protection, of healthy distance, of use of masks, of avoiding parties and meetings."

Reporting by Diego Oré; writing by Frank Jack Daniel; editing by Grant McCool

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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