Mexico, one of the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, released new figures Wednesday showing that the death toll was far higher than first reported for much of last year.
The Latin American nation registered 108,658 deaths from COVID-19 up to the end of August 2020, national statistics institute INEGI said.
The figure is more than 68 percent higher than the 64,414 deaths from the new coronavirus reported at the time by the health ministry for the same period.
“Many people aren’t dying in hospitals, they’re dying at home… That may partly explain this difference,” INEGI statistician Edgar Vielma told a Mexican radio network.
The government and INEGI also use different methodologies.
Mexico’s COVID-19 death toll officially now stands at 152,016, according to the latest update from the health ministry released on Tuesday.
It is the world’s fourth-highest fatality toll after the United States, Brazil and India.
Including suspected deaths from the virus, the figure stands at 171,378, according to the government.
The country of around 126 million has officially registered nearly 1.8 million coronavirus cases.
They include President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who announced on Sunday that he had COVID-19.
He said his symptoms were mild, and his government has since reported that the 67-year-old is recovering well, despite his history of heart problems and hypertension.
Limited testing for the virus in Mexico means that the actual total number of cases is thought to be far higher.
According to INEGI, COVID-19 was the second top cause of death in the first eight months of last year, behind only heart disease.
It said total deaths, at 673,260, were nearly 38 percent higher than usual over the period, resulting in nearly 185,000 excess deaths.
Mexico City has been in a state of maximum alert and partial lockdown since mid-December, with more than 90 percent of hospital beds full due to soaring infections.
The country began a mass inoculation drive on December 24 but progress has been held back by limited vaccine supplies.
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Mexico Covid deaths far higher than reported, new data shows (2021, January 27)
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