MEXICO CITY (Bloomberg) — Mexico has surpassed Panama and Peru to become the deadliest spot for COVID-19 in Latin America.
A recent surge in deaths has brought the virus’s toll to 59.2 per million people, just above Panama’s, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Mexico’s fatalities are now the 15th highest worldwide per capita.
Mexico has taken a lax approach to the virus, calling on citizens to regulate their activities rather than forcing them to lock down. The nation has also been plagued by undertesting for the virus, and despite a recent increase, still has one of the highest positivity rates in the world. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has just recovered from the virus, still refuses to wear a mask.
Mexico has reported 1,936,013 COVID-19 cases and 166,731 deaths as of late last week.
In Mexico City, the rate of excess deaths per million people is the highest in the world, according to data analysts Mario Romero and Laurianne Despeghel. Fatalities have been 123% greater than expected in regular times, they said. At 77,469 as of Feb. 3, that’s more than twice the official virus toll of 29,146.
Cities with high death tolls in the earlier days of the pandemic like Lima, New York and Madrid didn’t see a deadlier second wave the way Mexico City did. Excess deaths measure fatalities from all causes, including people who couldn’t get proper treatment because hospitals were swamped.
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