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India reacts when WHO says the country has up to 4 million deaths from COVID-19

India reacted when WHO said the country had up to 4 million people died from COVID-19 - Photo 1.

Medical staff wearing protective gear at a COVID-19 hospital in India in January 2022 – Photo: REUTERS

According to the newspaper New York Times (NYT)WHO is undertaking an ambitious attempt to pinpoint the exact number of COVID-19 deaths globally.

According to the WHO expert team, at least 15 million people have died from the pandemic by the end of 2021. This number is 2.5 times higher than the 6.2 million people announced by governments.

To get this figure, WHO used country-provided data, combined with new information from regions and household surveys. WHO also uses statistical models to find the number of unrecorded deaths.

This number also includes “indirect” deaths from COVID-19, such as those unable to go to hospital for treatment due to the pandemic, according to the report. NYT.

Also according to WHO, the number of deaths due to COVID-19 in India up to 4 million people, not just about 521,000 people as the host government put it.

The WHO has not yet published the report. However, according to AFP news agency on April 18, India reacted strongly to these figures.

India’s Ministry of Health expressed doubts about the WHO’s calculation model, saying that its calculation was “statistically unproven”. New Delhi also said that it has discussed and reflected on this many times but has not received a satisfactory response from WHO.

According to NYTIndia is not the only country where the number of deaths has skyrocketed. Other populous countries, such as Indonesia and Egypt, also saw their death tolls rise above self-reported numbers.

NYT acknowledged the inaccessibility of further WHO documents to review data from other countries. Indonesia and Egypt were not immediately available for comment.

Dr Prabhat Jha, director of the Center for Global Health Research in Toronto (Canada) and an expert who helps WHO determine the exact number of deaths due to COVID-19, said that knowing how many people have died dying from the pandemic is “very important”.

According to him, this has not only ethical implications, but also to assess the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination campaign.

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