Mexico’s real Covid-19 death toll is almost triple the federal government’s official total, according to a new analysis by a United States health research center.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington School of Medicine published an analysis on Thursday that shows that 617,127 people have died from Covid in Mexico.
The figure is 183% higher than Mexico’s official death toll, which rose to 218,007 on Wednesday.
The federal Health Ministry acknowledged in March that Mexico’s true death toll is significantly higher but its estimate of about 320,000 fatalities is dwarfed by that of the IHME.
The research center noted that many Covid-19 deaths go unreported because countries only report deaths that occur in hospitals or among patients with a confirmed infection.
Large numbers of Mexicans have died at home without being tested for Covid-19, and Mexico’s testing rate remains very low at about 51,000 tests per million people, according to German statistics portal Statista.
The IHME also said that weak health reporting systems and low access to health care magnifies the challenge of accurately counting all Covid-19 deaths.
According to its analysis, which was based on excess death rates in countries around the world, Mexico has recorded the third highest number of Covid-19 deaths after the United States and India. The IHME estimates that the United States has actually had more than 905,000 Covid-19 fatalities, about 56% higher than its official death toll, and that more than 654,000 people have succumbed to the disease in India, an increase of about 184%.
Globally, Covid-19 has caused approximately 6.9 million deaths, the IHME said, a figure more than double what official numbers show. According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the global death toll is currently about 3.25 million and Mexico ranks fourth for fatalities behind the United States, Brazil and India.
“As terrible as the Covid-19 pandemic appears, this analysis shows that the actual toll is significantly worse,” said Dr. Chris Murray, IHME’s director.
“Understanding the true number of Covid-19 deaths not only helps us appreciate the magnitude of this global crisis, but also provides valuable information to policymakers developing response and recovery plans,” he said.
“Many countries have devoted exceptional effort to measuring the pandemic’s toll, but our analysis shows how difficult it is to accurately track a new and rapidly spreading infectious disease. We hope that today’s report will encourage governments to identify and address gaps in their Covid-19 mortality reporting, so that they can more accurately direct pandemic resources.”
Mexico News Daily