MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Deaths in Mexico jumped nearly 37% between January and August as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country and 184,000 more people died than during the same period in 2019, Mexico’s statistics institute (INEGI) said on Wednesday.
INEGI reported 108,658 deaths from COVID-19 during the first eight months of the year. That compares to 64,414 COVID-19 deaths reported by Mexico’s health department during the same period.
INEGI’s president Julio Santaella told local media on Wednesday that the two agencies rely on different sources for the data, with INEGI’s count based on death certificates, whereas the health department’s figures were based on hospital data.
COVID-19 was the second-leading cause of death nationwide during the eight-month period, after heart disease, it said, adding that the largest increases in deaths occurred in Mexico City and the surrounding urban sprawl, as well as in the states of Veracruz and Jalisco.
Mexico has officially registered 152,016 deaths from COVID-19, but officials have acknowledged that the number may be far higher.
(Reporting by Sharay Angulo and Raul Cortes; writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Barbara Lewis)