There were over 600,000 deaths associated with the coronavirus pandemic in Mexico during 2020 and 2021, according to World Health Organization estimates, a figure more than double the number of fatalities officially attributed to COVID-19.
The WHO said Thursday there were approximately 626,000 excess deaths in the two-year period. That figure includes deaths directly caused by COVID and indirectly caused by the pandemic due to its impact on health systems and society.
“Deaths linked indirectly to COVID-19 are attributable to other health conditions for which people were unable to access prevention and treatment because health systems were overburdened by the pandemic,” the WHO said in a press release.
“The estimated number of excess deaths can be influenced also by deaths averted during the pandemic due to lower risks of certain events, like motor-vehicle accidents or occupational injuries.”
The excess death total for Mexico is 109% higher than the official COVID death toll as of December 31, 2021, which was 299,428.
Mexico’s official death toll is now just over 324,000, a figure that hasn’t been updated since late April.
The federal government has acknowledged that the official death toll is an undercount of COVID-related fatalities. Its own excess death estimate is slightly higher than that of the WHO.
Mexico is one of 20 countries that account for over 80% of the estimated global excess deaths for the January 2020 to December 2021 period, the WHO said. It estimated that there were 14.9 million excess deaths around the world in the two-year period, including 4.7 million in India. The global excess mortality figure is more than double the official number of reported COVID deaths, which is currently about 6.25 million.
A panel of experts put together by the WHO calculated the estimates for each country using national data on reported COVID deaths, household surveys and a statistical model that aimed to take into account COVID fatalities that went unreported.
Mexico News Daily