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A sign above crowds of people in a street in Mexico City, Mexico, warning to "avoid masses" and keep distance from others during a nationwide, 12-day shopping event that's running through Nov. 20, designed to stimulate the economy. Photo: Cristopher Rogel Blanquet/Getty Images

Mexico surpassed 1 million coronavirus cases and over 98,200 deaths from COVID-19 late Saturday, per Johns Hopkins data.

Driving the news: Mexican health officials have focused on testing the seriously ill and conducted only about 2.5 million COVID-19 tests in total — representing 1.9% of the population, AP reports.

  • The relatively small amount of tests makes contact tracing and identifying outbreaks or asymptomatic cases early difficult.
  • The government has not followed other internationally accepted practices during the pandemic management, including the wearing of face masks and restrictions, AP notes.

Of note: Mexico has reported the fourth-highest number of deaths from COVID-19 in the world, after India, Brazil and the U.S.

Zoom in: Mexico City is a coronavirus epicenter. Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced Friday that bars would shut for 15 days and businesses including restaurants and gyms must close earlier in an effort to curb the spread, per Al Jazeera.

By the numbers: Per Johns Hopkins, Mexico is the 11th country to exceed 1 million cases. The others are:

  1. The U.S. (over 10.9 million)
  2. India (over 8.7 million)
  3. Brazil (5.8 million-plus)
  4. France (more than 1.9 million)
  5. Russia (nearly 1.9 million)
  6. Spain (over 1.4 million)
  7. United Kingdom (1.3 million-plus)
  8. Argentina (more than 1.3 million)
  9. Colombia (nearly 1.2. million)
  10. Italy (over 1.1 million)

Go deeper: Mexicans offered little coronavirus aid as death and economic tolls climb

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
Jan 29, 2021 - Health

J&J says its one-shot vaccine is 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID

Photo: Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that its single-shot coronavirus vaccine was 66% effective in protecting against moderate to severe COVID-19 disease in Phase 3 trials, which was comprised of nearly 44,000 participants across eight countries.

Between the lines: The vaccine was 72% effective in the U.S., but only 57% effective in South Africa, where a more contagious variant has been spreading. It prevented 85% of severe infections and 100% of hospitalizations and deaths, according to the company.