Mexico nears 70,000 official Covid-19 deaths, but the toll is likely much higher

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A doctor and medical worker check the current status of a Covid-19 patient in Tijuana in May. (AP Photo)

MEXICO CITY: The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths in Mexico is set to hit 70,000 when official data is released on Friday, a grim step for a country among the worst affected by the pandemic.

To make matters worse, excess mortality data from mid-March to early August indicates that the total number of deaths beyond the official count is likely several tens of thousands higher.

The spread of the virus has ravaged an already struggling economy, which is now seen to contract by as much as 13% this year, the deepest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

On Thursday, the Health Ministry announced that 652,364 infections and 69,649 deaths have been attributed to the strain of the coronavirus which was first detected late last year in China.

According to official data, Mexico is the country with the fourth highest number of deaths in the world and the 13th per capita, according to a count from Johns Hopkins University.

But earlier this month, the health ministry said it recorded more than 120,000 “additional” deaths from mid-March to August 1. The measure compares this year’s mortality figures with a four-year average from 2015 to 2018.

Brazil remains No. 1 in Latin America, the region with the most infections in the world, both for confirmed cases of coronavirus and for deaths. It has recorded a total of 4.2 million infections and more than 128,000 deaths to date.

In good news, the rate of new cases in Peru, Colombia and Mexico has declined slightly in recent weeks.

Overall, more than 900,000 people have died worldwide from the pandemic, the deadliest outbreaks in the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico.

Click on here for our live update of the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia.

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