Mexico records most daily COVID-19 cases since February, signaling 5th wave

An employee of Irish auto parts maker Aptiv receives a booster shot of the AztraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine during a mass vaccination program for its employees at the Mexico Technical Center in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico March 16, 2022. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

MEXICO CITY, June 23 (Reuters) - Mexico reported 16,133 new COVID-19 cases in the country on Thursday, the highest daily number reported since late February, according to data released by the Health Ministry.

The increase is a signal that another wave of the virus is spreading through the country, experts say.

"What we have been identifying over the last nine weeks is a progressive increase in the frequency of cases," Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said in a regular news conference Tuesday.

Lopez-Gatell said most cases in the country are of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, which cause cold-like symptoms.

"And even more encouraging is that deaths are also being kept under control," he said.

Mexico recorded an average of 24 deaths a day over the past seven days, according to Health Ministry data.

The ministry said Tuesday that 4% of general hospital beds were filled with COVID-19 patients, while 1% of emergency beds were filled.

Lopez-Gatell said the rate at which cases are increasing is encouraging "because it suggests that ... the protection that we all have, either because we suffered from COVID or because we were vaccinated, or both, works and makes the spread slower than it was."

Earlier this month, Mexico opened registration for children ages 5 to 11 to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Reporting by Kylie Madry; Editing by Leslie Adler

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