a patient in India received oxygen in an ambulance

Photo courtesy of Ohio Department of Health.

Government officials in Peru announced on May 31 that the country’s official COVID-19 death toll had been far lower than the real number. Instead of 69,342 Peruvians perishing from COVID-19 as of May 22, as the Peruvian government previously reported, more than 180,000 actually have died from the virus.

Officials blamed the undercounting on “a lack of testing that made it difficult to confirm whether a person had died due to the virus or some other cause,” Reuters reports. The new figure means Peru has the highest per-capita death toll in the world.

The news comes at the end of a holiday weekend in the U.S., where millions of Americans resumed travel previously put on hold due to the pandemic. The U.S. continues to see COVID-19 cases decline with the rise of vaccination rates.

But in Brazil, Argentina, Peru and many other countries in Latin America, government and health officials are still struggling to contain the virus.

Read more at NPR.

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