Mexico City virus toll almost double

By AAP Newswire

A senior official says Mexico City suffered 20,535 "excess deaths" attributable to COVID-19 between April and August, almost double the number reported officially.

David Merino, the head of the city's Digital Innovation Agency, said on Wednesday there were 30,462 excess deaths in the the Mexican capital between April 1 and the end of August, about two-thirds of which were determined to be due to coronavirus.

The official toll for the period was 11,318.

Excess deaths are computed by comparing the number of deaths in previous years and comparing them to 2020.

Merino wrote in his Twitter account 92 per cent of those deaths were in hospitals and 7 per cent at private residences.

The city of almost 9 million inhabitants, like the rest of Mexico, has had an extremely low testing rate and officials have acknowledged the numbers of test-confirmed cases and deaths probably underestimate the real figures.

"These are figures that describe a tragedy," Merino wrote.

Merino didn't specify how the city had assigned that number of excess deaths to COVID-19 but city officials have been leading an effort to review death certificates to determine how many untested people had probably died of coronavirus.

It was also unclear whether test-confirmed cases were included in the excess-death figures.