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Peru more than doubles COVID-19 death toll with new figures

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By Euronews with AP
Peru more than doubled its official COVID-19 death toll on Monday, after the government updated the figures.
Peru more than doubled its official COVID-19 death toll on Monday, after the government updated the figures.   -   Copyright  Rodrigo Abd/AP
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Peru more than doubled its official COVID-19 death toll on Monday, after the government updated the figures.

The government now says there have been more than 180,000 fatalities from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

It’s more than double the 69,342 people who had been declared to have died from COVID-19 in previously available official data.

The new figures make Peru the country with the fifth highest death toll in the world, behind the US, India, Brazil and Mexico.

The announcement was made in the presidential palace during the presentation of a report by a working group commissioned to analyse and update the death toll.

Health Minister Oscar Ugarte said a significant number of deaths were not classified as caused by COVID-19 previously.

They had only counted confirmed cases with a positive diagnosis test, while the new toll incorporates other criteria.

Ugarte said the government will not make new policies to face the updated figures.

The new toll from COVID-19 includes deaths reported between March 2020 and May 22 of this year.

Questions about Peru's death toll surfaced soon after the beginning of the pandemic.

Scenes of cemeteries filling up with new burials and and hospitals buying refrigerated containers to act as makeshift morgues suggested the situation was far worse than the official data showed.