Hidden Toll: Mexico Ignores Wave of Coronavirus Deaths in Capital - The New York Times
More than three times as many people may have died from Covid-19 in Mexico City than federal statistics show, according to a Times analysis.
MEXICO CITY — The Mexican government is not reporting hundreds, possibly thousands, of deaths from the coronavirus in Mexico City, dismissing anxious officials who have tallied more than three times as many fatalities in the capital than the government publicly acknowledges, according to officials and confidential data.
The tensions have come to a head in recent weeks, with Mexico City alerting the government to the deaths repeatedly, hoping it will come clean to the public about the true toll of the virus on the nation’s biggest city and, by extension, the country at large.
But that has not happened. Doctors in overwhelmed hospitals in Mexico City say the reality of the epidemic is being hidden from the country. In some hospitals, patients lie on the floor, splayed on mattresses. Elderly people are propped up on metal chairs because there are not enough beds, while patients are turned away to search for space in less-prepared hospitals. Many die while searching, several doctors said.
“It’s like we doctors are living in two different worlds,” said Dr. Giovanna Avila, who works at Hospital de Especialidades Belisario Domínguez. “One is inside of the hospital with patients dying all the time. And the other is when we walk out onto the streets and see people walking around, clueless of what is going on and how bad the situation really is.”
Mexico City officials have tabulated more than 2,500 deaths from the virus and from serious respiratory illnesses that doctors suspect were related to Covid-19, according to the data, which was reviewed by The New York Times. Yet the federal government is reporting about 700 in the area, which includes Mexico City and the municipalities on its outskirts.
Nationwide, the federal government has reported about 3,000 confirmed deaths from the virus, plus nearly 250 suspected of being related, in a country of more than 120 million people. But experts say Mexico has only a minimal sense of the real scale of the epidemic because it is testing so few people.
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