New data in Peru show that the number of deaths from COVID-19 exceeds 180,000

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In this photo from the March 20, 2021 file, a worker digs a grave in San Juan Bautista Cemetery in Iquitos, Peru, amid the new coronavirus pandemic. On May 31, 2021, Peru announced a sharp increase in the number of deaths from COVID-19, saying there have been more than 180,000 fatalities since the pandemic hit the country early last year. Credit: AP Photo / Rodrigo Abd, File

Peru on Monday announced a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 deaths, saying there have been more than 180,000 deaths since the pandemic hit the country early last year.

The announcement was made at the presidential palace during the presentation of a report by a working group tasked with analyzing and updating the . The results of the study place the new toll at 180,764 in a population of about 32.6 million, compared to recent data indicating that 69,342 people had died from COVID-19.

“What is being said is that a significant number of deaths were not classified as caused by COVID-19,” said Health Minister Oscar Ugarte, who added that the criteria for assigning the new coronavirus as a cause of they changed.

Ugarte said previously only those who “had a positive diagnostic test” were considered to have died from the virus, but other criteria have since been incorporated.

The new COVID-19 toll includes deaths reported between March 2020 and May 22 this year. Among Latin American countries, only Brazil and Mexico have reported a higher number of deaths from the disease.

On Monday, the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus checkpoint reflected the previous figure of just under 70,000 deaths in Peru.

Questions about the death toll in Peru arose shortly after the start of the pandemic. Scenes of cemeteries filling up with new burials and hospitals buying refrigerated containers to act as makeshift morgues suggested the situation was much worse than official data show.


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