Mexico, having produced over half a million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 55,000 deaths as the Latin American pandemic rages, will help develop a vaccine that could be distributed in the country next year, officials said on Thursday. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the pandemic is losing power in Mexico, while the death toll of 55,293 stands behind the United States and Brazil as the third-highest on earth. Mexico’s health ministry announced 7,371 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 505,751 in the country.
The pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca Plc, in collaboration with the Mexican and Argentine governments, said it plans to initially manufacture 150 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine in early 2021 and ultimately make at least 400 million available for distribution throughout the world. Lopez Obrador praised the deal as “positive news” for Mexico and said he predicted that the nation would still suffer from the pandemic as soon as the vaccine was released.
Supporting Lopez Obrador ‘s claim that COVID-19 is waning in Mexico, Jose Luis Alomia, the government’s epidemiology chief, said on Wednesday that less tests were returning positive. “It’s consistent with the drop in total cases we’ve seen in recent weeks” as some 47 percent of tests came back positive this week, compared with 53 percent to 54 percent three to four weeks ago, Alomia said.