Mexico’s president promised Sunday to combat chronic health problems and improve health care, as the country’s cases of COVID-19 continued to mount.
The Health Department reported 5,311 more confirmed cases, for a total of 344,224, and 296 more COVID-19 deaths, for a total of 39,184.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Sunday in a message to the families of coronavirus victims that he would fight chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension that make people more likely to suffer severe cases of COVID-19.
He pledged to do so by promoting physical education, training more medical personnel, and fighting junk food.
López Obrador said the government would provide scholarships to train 30,000 more specialized doctors.
A trade group, the National Association of Softdrink Producers, issued a statement Sunday condemning what it called the “stigmatizing” of soft drinks, after Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell referred to them as “bottled poison.”
Mexicans have one of the world’s highest per-capita consumption rates of soft drinks. Officials have said Mexico’s high rates of obesity and diabetes have worsened the effects of the pandemic.
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