COVID-19: US, South Africa, Peru, Others Take The Lead in Excess Death Rate



The coronavirus pandemic has claimed 985,000 lives so far, overwhelming many countries over the world struggling to stay ahead of the killer disease. The deaths exceed the annual average and the year is not even over yet.
This is reflected in the number of countries reporting high excess death rates, i.e. the sum-total of deaths of all causes during a crisis above and beyond the average figure recorded within the same period in previous years.
The latest figures reveal that Peru, Ecuador, Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa lead in every metric used to account for the most excess death rates among countries. So far, Peru has roughly 2,500 excess deaths per million, over 150% of the historical average in previous years. Despite relatively low testing, Peru recorded 795,000 cases of the virus.

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This has been credited to the fragility of its healthcare system and socio-economic situations that make social distancing difficult for its contact-dependent population. Ecuador also exceeds 2,000 deaths per million. It has an excess death percentage of 100%, topped only by Peru.
The country was fast overwhelmed following the outbreak of the virus, with the health minister calling the situation desperate. In April, it was reported that the streets of the city of Guayaquil were filled with bodies of coronavirus’ victims who could not get access to the limited bed spaces.
Also on the list is South Africa. With nearly 600,000 cases, it is the worst-affected country on the continent. It has excess deaths close to 50,000 and a 25% excess death rate.
The United States currently has over 7 million cases of the coronavirus infection, with 203,000 deaths directly caused by the disease. As for total excess deaths, that is about 210,000.

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