Mexico says COVID-19 deaths much higher than previously reported

Coronavirus

Relatives of Vicente Dominguez who died of complications related to the new coronavirus, place flowers on his grave at the municipal cemetery of Valle de Chalco, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. Mexican families traditionally flock to local cemeteries to honor their dead relatives as part of the “Dia de los Muertos,” or Day of the Dead celebrations, but according to authorities the cemeteries will be closed this year to help curb the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

MEXICO CITY — Mexican health authorities acknowledge the country’s true death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is far higher than previously thought, saying there were 193,170 “excess” deaths in the year up to Sept. 26.

Of those, 139,153 are now judged to be attributable to COVID-19. Mexico’s official, test-confirmed death toll is only about 89,000, but officials previously acknowledged many people didn’t get tested or their tests were mishandled.

Authorities had previously presented an estimated death toll of 103,882, after taking into account mishandled tests. But the Health Department said Sunday they had analyzed databases to come up with the latest figure.

The analysis picked up symptoms related to COVID-19 mentioned on death certificates even if they weren’t listed as the cause of death.

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