Mexico has recorded its highest number of coronavirus infections over the weekend. On Sunday, the country’s health ministry confirmed 1,562 new cases of COVID-19, bringing up the total of infections to 35,022.

The rise in coronavirus cases came as the government projected that infections would peak last weekend. On Saturday and Sunday alone, Mexico recorded 3,500 new infections, the highest number of reported infections yet since COVID-19 hit the country.

Currently, 26 out of 64 public hospitals in Mexico are already drained in capacity. Last weekend, hospitals in Mexico City neared saturation point after receiving at least 100 coronavirus patients that required intubation within two days. As the surge in cases overwhelmed both public and private hospitals, medical facilities started turning patients away.

According to reports, hospitals in Mexico City such as Ignacio Zaragosa Public Hospital now have vinyl banners on their fences stating, “No more beds. We thank you for your understanding.”

As of Sunday, only 38 percent of Mexico City’s hospitals had available beds with ventilators, while 55 percent in the surrounding state. The health ministry also reported that nationwide, three-quarters of beds with ventilators were still available as of Sunday.

However, figures from the National Association of Private Hospitals suggest that beds and intensive care units with ventilators in at least five states in Mexico, as well as in the country’s capital, are already overburdened. In fact, in Mexico City’s 16 municipalities, patients are already being redirected to medical facilities in neighboring cities, which are also nearly full.

Mexico is the country hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America. Of its 8.8 million population, over 33,460 people have already been infected by the coronavirus and 3,353 have already died. At least 468 of COVID-19 patients have also been intubated after suffering severe respiratory distress.

On Sunday, the National Institute for Respiratory Diseases reported putting at least 70 of Mexican patients on the ventilator. However, it is believed that true figures are significantly higher than reported due to the low level of testing in the country.

COVID-19 COVID-19 around the world. Photo by Gerd Altmann/Pixabay