Nearly three times as many people have died as a result of COVID-19, according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is by far the most comprehensive look at the pandemic’s true global toll.
The United Nations body said on Thursday that there were an additional 14.9 million deaths linked to COVID-19 by the end of 2021. The official count of deaths directly from COVID-19 and reported to the WHO in that period, from January 2020 to the end of December 2021, is a little over 5.4 million.
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WHO’s additional mortality rates reflect those who died as an indirect result of the outbreak, along with those who died of COVID-19, including people who had health conditions for other conditions. Couldn’t reach service when systems were overwhelmed during huge waves of infection. It is also responsible for deaths during the pandemic, for example due to the low risk of traffic accidents during the lockdown.
But the number is much higher than the official tally due to deaths in countries without adequate reporting. Even before the pandemic, about 6 out of 10 deaths were not recorded worldwide, the WHO said.
The WHO report said that almost half of the deaths not counted so far were in India. The report suggests that 4.7 million people died as a result of the pandemic, mainly during the surge in May and June 2021.
However, the Indian government rates its death rate for the January 2020-December 2021 period as very low: around 480,000. The WHO said it has not yet fully examined the new data provided by India, which pushed back against the WHO’s estimates and on Tuesday announced its own mortality rates for all causes of death in 2020. The figures have been released. Read more WHO said it may add a disclaimer to the report highlighting the ongoing talks with India.
The WHO panel, made up of international experts who have been working on the data for months, used a combination of national and local information as well as statistical models to estimate the total data where the data is incomplete – a method that India has criticized
However, other independent assessments have put the death toll in India far higher than the official government’s, including a report published in Science that suggested that as many as three million people could die from COVID in the country. Is.
Other models have come to similar conclusions that the global death rate is much higher than the recorded figures. For comparison, the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 is believed to have killed about 50 million people, and 36 million people have died from HIV since the pandemic began in the 1980s.
Sameera Asma, WHO’s assistant director general for data, analytics and delivery for impact, who co-led the computation process, said data was the “lifeline of public health”, which helps assessing and learning from what happened during the pandemic. was required, and called for more support for countries to improve reporting.
“A lot is unknown,” she told reporters at a press briefing.