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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - LIMA — Peru has more than doubled its official death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic following a government review of the figures, leaving the country with the highest coronavirus-related death rate per capita in the world.
Peru's prime minister announced Monday that the death toll from March 1, 2020 to May 22, 2021 had been revised up to 180,764. The previous figure was 67,807, which is 2.6 times lower.
Speaking at a press conference, Violeta Bermudez said the updated figures were based on advice taken from a panel of Peruvian and international experts.
"It (is) our duty to make the updated information public, not only as part of our commitment to transparency, but also to comply with our obligations as a State," Bermudez said.
Peru already had one of the world's worst death rates before the government review. The new numbers bring the mortality rate from just over 200 to more than 500 deaths per 100,000 people -- topping Hungary, which had 305 deaths per 100,000 people as of May 22, according to John Hopkins University data.
Separately, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Monday it would be a "monumental error" to think the danger of Covid-19 has passed.
"The reality is, we still have a lot of work to do to end this pandemic," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during the closing of the 74th World Health Assembly.. "We're very encouraged that cases and deaths are continuing to decline globally, but it would be a monumental error for any country to think the danger has passed."
The way out of the pandemic, he said, is tailored and consistent use of public health measures, alongside equitable vaccination.
Tedros urged member states to commit to supporting targets of achieving at least 10 percent of the population of all countries vaccinated by the end of September, and at least 30% by the end of the year.
"One day — hopefully soon — the pandemic will be behind us, but the psychological scars will remain for those who have lost loved ones, health workers who have been stretched beyond breaking point. and the millions of people of all ages confronted with months of loneliness and isolation," he said. — CNN
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