Peru has more than doubled its official coronavirus death toll, from 69,000 to more than 180,000, the government said Monday.
The toll was adjusted from 69,342 to 180,764 on the advice of a panel of Peruvian and international health experts, Prime Minister Violeta Bermúdez told reporters in Lima.
The expert group, convened in April, suggested modifying Peru's criteria for registering coronavirus-related deaths after finding the existing methodology generated "an under-representation in the number of deaths due to Covid-19."
The criteria were broadened beyond people who tested positive for the virus to include "probable" cases with "an epidemiological link to a confirmed case."
They will also now include people thought to be infected with the virus who present "a clinical picture compatible with the disease."
"Thanks to the work of this team... we will have more exhaustive figures and figures that will be very useful to monitor the pandemic and take the appropriate measures to confront it," Bermúdez said.
The panel was composed of experts from public and private health entities in Peru and from the World Health Organization.
With its previous, lower toll, Peru ranked 12th in the world for countries with the highest mortality per capita.