Mexico City warns of tighter COVID-19 restrictions

Mexico City's mayor on Monday warned tighter coronavirus curbs could come into effect later in the week as COVID-19 hospitalizations in the sprawling capital rose.

"We still have time to take preventative measures to keep (hospitalizations) from increasing in the coming weeks," Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum told reporters, noting that hospital beds for coronavirus patients are just under half-full.

Hospitalizations have ticked up for nearly 10 days, and officials are monitoring the trend this week to determine if it indicates an upswing of infections in Mexico's biggest urban hub - a metropolis of some 9 million people ringed by dense suburban sprawl.

Sheinbaum said she did not want to ban any activity outright, but would consider limitations such as reducing operating hours of some businesses to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed and to avoid more deaths.

Mexico has lost 86,167 lives to the coronavirus pandemic and registered 851,227 infections, according to government data, although the true figures could be much higher.

"Let's be aware that the pandemic is continuing...we have to keep protecting ourselves," Sheinbaum said.

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