MEXICO CITY (AP) — Police in the northern Mexico border state of Coahuila said Friday they found three sisters who worked in the government hospital system strangled to death, stirring further alarm in a country where attacks against health care workers have been reported across the country.
Two of the sisters were nurses at the Mexican Social Security Institute and the third was a hospital administrator, but there was no immediate official evidence that the attack was related to their work.
State police said their strangled bodies were found in a house in the city of Torreon, Coahuila. The Social Security Institute said they were killed Thursday.
The National Union of Social Security Employees called the killings were “outrageous and incomprehensible.”
In other parts of Mexico, nurses have had been hit, kicked off public transport or had cleaning fluids poured on them amid fears they might spread the novel coronavirus.
Mexican health authorities have denounced the attacks and urged medical personnel not to wear uniforms or scrubs on the street to avoid being targeted.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Ciudad Juarez announced he had tested positive for coronavirus.
Mayor Armando Cabada said he had no symptoms, but Javier Corral, the governor of Chihuahua state, said he was self-isolating as a precaution because he had contact with Cabada.
At least three of Mexico’s 31 state governors have already tested positive for coronavirus.
Ciudad Juarez has been hit hard by coronavirus, with about two-thirds of the state’s confirmed cases and 104 of its 125 deaths.
While federal authorities had predicted Mexico’s caseload would peak sometime around Friday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Friday that case numbers may plateau for another 12 days before any possible descent.
“We are at the phase of the highest contagion, we are at the peak, and according to the information we are getting, this could continue until the 20th of this month,” López Obrador said. “The projection is that from that date, the number of cases would start to fall.
Mexico has almost 30,000 confirmed cases, though officials have estimated the real number may be eight times higher. The country has seen almost 3,000 deaths.