COVID-19: Peru’s death toll more than doubles to over 180,000 following official review | World News

Peru’s COVID-19 death toll has more than doubled following an official review of deaths.

A new analysis of the number of fatalities found there have been 180,764 in a population of about 32.6 million, compared to recent data indicating that 69,342 people had died from coronavirus.

The new figure makes Peru the country with the world’s highest death rate per capita, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Peru now stands at more than 500 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people.

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A worker digs a grave in the San Juan Bautista cemetery in Iquitos, Peru. Pic: AP
The new toll includes deaths reported between March 2020 and 22 May this year. File pic: AP

The announcement was made following the presentation of a report by a working group commissioned to analyse and update the death toll.

Health minister Oscar Ugarte said the criteria for assigning coronavirus as a cause of death were changed.

Previously, only those who “had a positive diagnostic test” were considered to have died from the virus, but other criteria have since been incorporated.

Sara Manrique checks her empty oxygen tank as she stands in line for a refill in the Villa El Salvador neighborhood of Lima. Pic: AP
Experts had long warned that the true death toll was being undercounted. File pic: AP

The new toll includes virus deaths reported between March 2020 and 22 May this year.

Experts had long warned that the true number of fatalities was being undercounted in official statistics.

Peru has been among the hardest-hit Latin America countries during the pandemic, with its hospitals overcrowded with patients and demand for oxygen outstripping availability. It has has registered 1.9 million coronavirus infections in total.

Only Brazil and Mexico have reported higher death tolls from the disease.

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