In recent months, the Peruvian government had assured it wanted to “clarify” its death figures from Covid-19, suspected of being underestimated, while several parallel counts were circulating. It has been done since Monday, May 31. The official toll has practically tripled: it goes from 69,000 to 184,000 deaths. ” Starting today, (…) we are going to have more exhaustive figures which will be of great use for the management of the pandemic ”, declared Monday at a press conference the president of the council of ministers, Violeta Bermudez.
With more than 180,000 deaths, Peru becomes the fifth country with the highest mortality, behind the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico. Above all, it is the country with the highest number of deaths in proportion to its population (33 million inhabitants) in the world, with 5,781 deaths per million inhabitants, ahead of Hungary (3,048) and the Czech Republic (2 835). The mortality rate drops from 3.5% to 9.4%. This means that the rate of infected people dying is close to one in 10 people. A rate that climbs to nearly four in 10 among those over 60, who account for 70% of total deaths.
Seven technical criteria
“All countries have differences in the numbers in the calculation [des morts du Covid-19]. Peru is surely one of those where the difference is the most important because there were six different calculation systems, with six different sources of information, highlighted César Ugarte-Gil, epidemiologist at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute of the Peruvian Cayetano Heredia University, to explain this considerable gap. Until now, there were only confirmed cases at the time of death. “
This is how thousands of people who died from Covid-19 have remained outside the health authorities’ radars. From now on, the count will include probable deaths from Covid-19 “Showing an epidemiological link with a confirmed case”, as well as suspected cases compatible with Covid-19, according to seven technical criteria, detail the authorities. These are based on the recommendations of a technical council made up of Peruvian experts and specialists from the World Health Organization.
The country’s record is all the more dramatic as Peru had adopted drastic measures from the start of the epidemic in March 2020: strict confinement of three and a half months (from March 16 to 1is July 2020), an evening curfew still in effect and the closure of schools, which have still not reopened for sixteen months.
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