Peru registers the highest rate of deaths from Covid-19 in the world after reviewing the death toll

The updated figure is 180,764 deaths, much higher than the previous balance of 69,342 deaths

Graves to bury the victims of the covid in the San Juan Bautista cemetery (Iquitos, Peru).Rodrigo AbdAP

Peru raised the official death toll from the coronavirus pandemic from 69,000 to 180,000 on the recommendation of a technical group, announced the number two of the government, Violeta Bermdez, which leaves the country with the highest rate of deaths from Covid-19 in the world.

The updated figure as of May 22 is 180,764 deaths from the pandemic, Bermdez said at a press conference, after receiving the recommendation of the technical group created in April and made up of Peruvian experts and international organizations. The previous official balance was 69,342 deaths, as of Sunday. With the previous death toll, Peru was the country that had the 13th highest death rate from the world pandemic, with 2,103 deaths per million inhabitants, according to a count prepared by AFP made with official figures.

After the update, Peru becomes the country with the highest mortality rate in the world, with 5,484 deaths per million inhabitants, far from the 3,077 deaths in the second, Hungary. With 33 million inhabitants, the Andean country registers more than 1.9 million infections and has faced in previous months an acute shortage of medicinal oxygen.-

Seven new criteria

The group proposed modifying the criteria for registering deaths from the pandemic after determining that “the current methodology has two limitations that generate a lower number in the number of deaths from covid-19.” From now on, the balance will register as cases of “death. by covid-19 “those who meet one of the seven established technical criteria, including confirmed infections, but also a” probable case “that” has an epidemiological link with a confirmed case. “

It will also be considered a death from the pandemic “a suspected case of covid-19 presenting a clinical picture compatible with the disease“, among others.”

Thanks to the work of this team […] We are going to have more exhaustive figures that will be very useful to monitor the pandemic and take the appropriate measures to confront it, “said Bermdez. The technical group was made up of experts from Peruvian public and private entities and from the World Health Organization (WHO ).

Bermdez stated that “this report confirms that the reorientation we did to vaccinate older adults, starting with adults over 80 years of age, was the correct decision.” However, the Minister of Health, Oscar Ugarte, said in the same press conference that the report of the technical group “does not have to impact the vaccination process, [pues] they are different processes. “

Per started vaccination on February 9, but the campaign has progressed slowly, surrounded by political controversies, and so far yesOnly reaches 5% of the adult population. Peru has been facing the attacks of the second wave of the pandemic since December, with a record of almost 13,000 infections on April 1. In hospitals there are now 11,988 patients with Covid-19, but the health system has experienced a respite because the occupation of beds is in rest after reaching a peak of 15,547 on April 20. The death toll was adjusted six days before the second presidential round between the right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori and the left-wing Pedro Castillo, who have promised to speed up the vaccination if they are elected.


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