Mexico City, Jan 27 (efe-epa).- Mexico suffered 108,658 confirmed Covid-19 deaths in the first eight months of 2020, a figure 55.56 percent greater than the 69,849 deaths reported by health authorities, according to a report released on Wednesday by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) based on official lists of deaths and death certificates.
Thus, the coronavirus – the first case of which was detected in Mexico in February and the first death on March 18 – was the second leading cause of death in the country during this period, according to this preliminary investigation.
“Deaths from Covid-19 during the January through August 2020 period, were the second-biggest cause of death overall with 108,658 cases, below heart disease, which was in first place with 141,873, and above diabetes mellitus, which was in third place with 99,733,” INEGI said.
In addition, the number of murders during the span in question was 22,798.
Specifically, the tallies were made between Dec. 29, 2019, and Aug. 29, 2020, equivalent to Weeks 1 through 35 in 2020.
The Mexican states with the highest numbers of deaths compared with the prior year were the central state of Mexico with 84,185, Mexico City with 82,449, Veracruz with 50,842 and Jalisco with 40,158.
For the January through August period, 58.7 percent (or 401,766) of the deaths were males while 41.1 percent (280,873) were females, although in 1,184 the gender of the deceased was not specified.
In the first eight months of 2020, the number of officially registered deaths was 683,823, but INEGI said that there are more than 10,000 cases that did not actually occur during this time and thus the “true” figure is on the order of 673,260.
On the basis of these figures ad comparing them with data from past years, “a total of 488,343 deaths were expected for the January-August 2020 period and 673,260 occurred, and on the basis of these results there was an excess mortality for all causes of 184,917,” INEGI said.
This excess death toll is equivalent to excess mortality of 37.9 percent.
The figure of 108,658 deaths due to the pandemic is far greater than the 64,158 deaths reported by the Health Secretariat on Aug. 30, 2020.
On the basis of these figures, the number of deaths now would be 69 percent greater.
It is normal for additional deaths or cases to be added to official figures over time.
Yet another figure was provided on Twitter by INEGI chief Julio A. Santaella, who said that in the first eight months of last year 75,017 people died from Covid – according to official figures.
When questioned about the matter and the discrepancies involved, Government Minister Olga Sanchez Cordero – at the government’s morning press conference at the National Palace – said only that federal health authorities report in a timely manner the number of Covid infections and deaths.
“INEGI is absolutely reliable and has many more tools than we do for acquiring very real and very trustworthy data,” she said.
According to the most recent report, Mexico to date has suffered 1.78 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 152,000 deaths, putting it in fourth place worldwide in absolute numbers of pandemic deaths.