Mexico's COVID Death Toll Revision Is Staggering

Deaths are actually up to 60% higher than previously reported
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2021 1:10 AM CDT
Mexico's COVID Death Toll Revision Is Pretty Shocking
In this June 24, 2020 file photo, crematorium workers burn the coffins that contained the remains of people who died from the coronavirus after their cremation at the San Nicolas Tolentino cemetery in the Iztapalapa neighborhood of Mexico City.   (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

Last week, Brazil became the second country to record 300,000 deaths from COVID-19. But on Sunday, Mexico shot past Brazil to take over the No. 2 spot for coronavirus deaths after officials announced a massive revision to the country's death toll. COVID deaths are actually as much as 60% higher than previously reported, for a total of more than 321,000, the BBC reports. The US is in the top spot with 549,000 deaths, and Brazil's 310,000 deaths now place it at No. 3. Mexico has by far the lowest population of the three countries.

Mexico's previously reported 201,429 deaths were confirmed by virus tests, but the new government report takes into account all of the country's "excess deaths" and the data from those death certificates, because Mexico does not do much testing, the Guardian reports. While 70.5% of the 417,000 excess deaths were determined to be from COVID, experts say more of them can likely be blamed on the pandemic, because people were unable to get medical care for whatever they did ultimately die from due to overwhelmed hospitals. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been criticized for how his administration has handled the pandemic. Meanwhile, US residents are telling USA Today stories of getting stuck in Mexico after a positive COVID test while visiting the country. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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