Peru almost triples official COVID-19 death toll after review to 180,000


LIMA (Reuters) – Peru on Monday revised its official COVID-19 death toll to 180,764, almost triple the previous official figure of 69,342, following a government review that shows the severity of the outbreak in the Andean country.

Peru has been one of the most battered countries in Latin America by the pandemic, which has overcrowded its hospitals and outstripped the availability of oxygen tanks. Experts had long warned that the true death toll was being undercounted in official statistics.

“We think it is our duty to make public this updated information,” said Peru’s prime minister, Violeta Bermudez, in a press conference announcing the result of the review.

Peru’s updated numbers are in line with so-called excess deaths figures, which researchers have used in Peru and other countries to measure possible undercounting.

Excess deaths measure the total number of deaths in a period of time and compares it with the same period pre-pandemic.

(Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun and Marco Aquino; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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