Mexico City Has Had 8,072 More Deaths Than Previous Years: Study

Mexico City has emitted 8,072 more death certificates this year than it did during the average of the previous four years.

In a search across the city’s 52 civil registries, investigators Mario Romero and Laurianne Despeghel found the excess deaths amid the coronavirus pandemic. They published their findings in Nexos Magazine on Monday.

With one of the lowest testing rates in the region, experts have doubted that the government’s official numbers are accurately reflecting the full scale of the health crisis. The 8,072 excess deaths include not only those who died of Covid-19 but also those who might have died because they couldn’t be attended at a full-capacity hospital or who didn’t go to one for fear of catching the virus, the researchers said.

Mexico’s death registry carries a big lag. Statistics agency Inegi hasn’t published numbers for 2019, much less for 2020. But searching by civil registry, the researchers found that at the end of March, the number of death certificates started diverging from the average of past years.

By April, death certificates had grown 37% more than in the past four years and by the end of May, Romero and Despeghel estimate they’ll have grown by 120%.

Mexico City’s official Covid-19 death count stood at 1,655 on Sunday, according to Health Ministry data. Nationwide, Mexico has 68,620 confirmed cases and 7,394 deaths.

The Health Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

As of Monday, only 14 out of 75 hospitals in the city said they were “good” in terms of capacity, 22 were in critical situation while 39 reported “medium,” which is somewhere between 50% and 89%, according to the city’s data.

As of last week, 80% of the city’s hospital beds and 65% of its intensive care beds were in use, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said. Some hospitals were looking to add ventilator capacity, she said.

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