MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s health ministry on Thursday reported 1,982 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 257 additional fatalities, the most lethal day since the pandemic reached the Latin America’s second largest country.

The new figures bring the total number of confirmed cases to 29,616 and 2,961 deaths. However, the government has said the real number of infections is significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

Mexican officials are asking residents to observe social distancing measures ahead of Mother’s Day on Sunday and have closed Mexico City’s main flower market and cemeteries, where people tend to congregate for the holiday.

They have even suggested moving the holiday to July.

Considered one of Mexico’s most important holidays, Mother’s Day coincides this year with what health officials calculate is the peak week for the spread of the novel coronavirus.

(Reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher; editing by Grant McCool)