Mexico’s true COVID-19 death toll now stands at over 321,000

Mexico‘s government acknowledged Saturday that the country’s true death toll from the coronavirus pandemic now stands at 321,059, almost 60 per cent more than the official test-confirmed number of 201,429.

Mexico does little testing, and because hospitals were overwhelmed, many Mexicans died at home without getting a test. The only way to get a clear picture is to review ‘excess deaths’ and review death certificates.

On Saturday, the government quietly published such a report, which found there were 294,287 deaths linked to COVID-19 from the start of the pandemic through February 14. 

Since February 15 there have been an additional 26,772 test-confirmed deaths.

Mexico's government said Saturday that the country's true death toll from the pandemic now stands above 321,000, almost 60% more than the official test-confirmed number of 201,429. Family members attend funeral of a relative who died from COVID on March 17

Mexico's government said Saturday that the country's true death toll from the pandemic now stands above 321,000, almost 60% more than the official test-confirmed number of 201,429. Family members attend funeral of a relative who died from COVID on March 17

Mexico’s government said Saturday that the country’s true death toll from the pandemic now stands above 321,000, almost 60% more than the official test-confirmed number of 201,429. Family members attend funeral of a relative who died from COVID on March 17

The higher toll would rival that of Brazil, which currently has the world’s second-highest number of deaths.

But Mexico’s population of 126 million is far smaller than Brazil’s 211 million.

The new report also confirms just how deadly Mexico’s second wave in January was. 

As of the end of December, excess death estimates suggested a total of about 220,000 deaths related to COVID-19 in Mexico. 

That number jumped by around 75,000 in just a month and a half.

Also suggestive were the overall number of ‘excess deaths’ since the pandemic began, around 417,000. 

Excess deaths are determined by comparing the deaths in a given year to those that would be expected based on data from previous years.

Former President Felipe Calderón (pictured on March 8) wrote in his Twitter account Saturday that 'more than 400,000 Mexicans have died, above the average for previous years ... probably the highest figure in the world'

Former President Felipe Calderón (pictured on March 8) wrote in his Twitter account Saturday that 'more than 400,000 Mexicans have died, above the average for previous years ... probably the highest figure in the world'

Former President Felipe Calderón (pictured on March 8) wrote in his Twitter account Saturday that ‘more than 400,000 Mexicans have died, above the average for previous years … probably the highest figure in the world’

A review of death certificates found about 70.5 per cent of the excess deaths were COVID-19 related, often because it was listed on the certificates as a suspected or contributing cause of death. 

But some experts say COVID-19 may have contributed to many of the other excess deaths because many people couldn’t get treatment for other diseases because hospitals were overwhelmed.

Former President Felipe Calderón wrote in his Twitter account Saturday that ‘more than 400,000 Mexicans have died, above the average for previous years … probably the highest figure in the world’.

The United States leads the world with more than 548,000 deaths from the virus and more than 30 million cases. 

Worldwide, more than 2 million people have died of COVID-19.  

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