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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Coronavirus digest: Mexico reports 120,000 ‘untested’ deaths

Mexico's government has acknowledged that the country's true death toll from coronavirus stands above 321,000, almost 60% more than the official number of 201,429.

By: Deutsche Welle |
March 28, 2021 8:10:44 pm
A patient is moved from an ambulance into a COVID-19 treatment center in Mexico City. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP/picture alliance)

The country’s true COVID death toll stands above 321,000, almost 60% more than originally thought. The higher fatality rate rivals that of Brazil, one of the hardest-hit countries.

Mexico’s government has acknowledged that the country’s true death toll from coronavirus stands above 321,000, almost 60% more than the official number of 201,429.

Mexico does little testing, and because hospitals were overwhelmed, many people died at home without getting a test.

To find the true figure, officials reviewed “excess deaths” and death certificates.

Excess deaths are determined by comparing the deaths in a given year to those that would be expected based on data from previous years.

Some experts say that the virus may have also contributed to many of the other excess deaths not counted in the report, because many people couldn’t get treatment for other diseases because hospitals were overwhelmed.

The higher death toll would rival that of Brazil, which currently has the world’s second-highest number of deaths after the United States.


Russian President Vladimir Putin has revealed he had experienced minor side effects from the coronavirus vaccine, after receiving the first shot on Tuesday, the Interfax news agency reported.

“I woke up the next morning after the vaccination and it seemed to me I felt slight pain in muscles. I took a thermometer… my temperature was normal,” he told Rossiya 1 TV channel.

Germany reported 17,176 new cases and 90 deaths on Sunday, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed. That brings the total number of infections to 2,772,401 since the start of the pandemic and fatalities to 75,870.

In the face of a rising number of cases, German doctors yesterday called for a two-week hard lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.

Barcelona held a large concert by the band Love of Lesbians with 5,000 people in attendance on Saturday. The concert took place at the Palau de Sant Jordi, which usually hosts up to 24,000 people.

The sold-out performance was meant to test whether such an event can be held during the pandemic with strict hygiene measures.


Australia has ended a pandemic wage subsidy scheme despite official warnings that up to 150,000 people could lose their jobs as a result.

The JobKeeper scheme, which saw A$1,500 (€968) ($1,150) a fortnight paid to staff by their employers, was announced last March.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the program had been an “economic lifeline” that has achieved the aim “of saving lives and saving livelihoods” over the past year.

He told reporters in Melbourne there was “no doubt that there will be some businesses that will continue to do it tough” but the subsidies were always designed to be “temporary.”

Authorities in India’s Maharashtra state have imposed night curfews, in response to a record surge in cases. Officials reported 6,123 new infections in the commercial capital Mumbai, the highest single-day spike since March last year.

“We are seeing a higher COVID positive rate in high-rise residential buildings than in slums…to stop the spread only essential services will be allowed,” said Kishor Pednekar, the mayor of Mumbai adding that hotels, pubs and shopping malls must observe the night curfew rules.

India also recorded 62,714 cases in the last 24 hours, marking the highest single-day tally since October last year.


Panama says it will be temporarily suspending entry for travelers entering from South America, starting next week. People who have traveled to South America in the past 15 days will not be allowed entry, after a Brazilian strain of the virus was found by health authorities.

The rules would apply from March 31, and after that, only residents and citizens of Panama would be allowed in. Those who have arrived in the past 15 days, or will be arriving between Sunday and Wednesday, will be required to get tested and register with immigration authorities.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele says that 1 million Sinovac vaccines will arrive early on Sunday. Bukele said the shots were part of a 2-million-vaccine purchase that the Central American country had made, and that the first 1 million were already on their way from China.

El Salvador has recorded over 63,000 cases and nearly 2,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The German Armed Forces, or Bundeswehr, have delivered 80 respirators to Brazil, which is the second worst-hit nation in the world. The respirators arrived in Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas, which has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic

The situation has worsened in Brazil since February. While there have been issues with compliance to safety protocols, the country is also seeing the rampant spread of the P1 virus variant, which is significantly more contagious than the original coronavirus pathogen.

Critics have blamed President Jair Bolsonaro for downplaying the severity of the situation in Brazil. Last week, he criticized the renewal of lockdown measures in several states.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido says he has tested positive for the coronavirus and has mild symptoms. He said that he is in isolation, and expressed concern over the number of infections in the country.

“As President-in-Charge, but also as a Venezuelan, and especially as a human being, I want to responsibly inform the country that, after four days of quarantine as a result of some discomforts and despite having taken precautions, I have tested positive for COVID-19,” he tweeted.

Middle East

New Saudi Arabian cases have risen above 500 for the first time since October, with the health ministry blaming the increase on gatherings and laxity in complying with preventive measures and social distancing.

The country recorded 510 new infections on Friday and 502 on Saturday, bringing the total to 387,794 cases and 6,643 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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