(Adds comments by Mexico's deputy health minister)
MEXICO CITY, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Mexico on Monday reported a sharp increase in the daily number of coronavirus infections and deaths, breaking previous records due to what the government said was a change in methodology.
The Health Ministry reported a jump of 2,789 deaths and 28,115 cases, far outstripping the prior daily records of 1,092 deaths and 9,556 cases. Total confirmed cases now stand at 789,780, with a reported death toll of 81,877.
The Health Ministry said the record jump includes additional cases and deaths that date back to June.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell, the public face of the government's coronavirus strategy, said Monday's increase was a one-off event. He said critics would use the figures to attack the government.
At news conference to announce the figures, he held up his smart phone and showed the cameras an article by local newspaper El Financiero about Monday's numbers. He accused the paper of being irresponsible and sensationalist.
Mexico's total coronavirus figures are likely significantly higher than the reported numbers due to limited testing. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito and Adriana Barrera; Editing by Christian Schmollinger, Kim Coghill and Leslie Adler)
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