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the World Health Organization (WHO) he said Thursday that his new estimates show the entire death toll directly or indirectly associated with the COVID-19 pandemic between 1 January 2020 and 1 December 2021 was around 14.9 million.
Scientists said there have been between 13.3 million and 16.6 million deaths either directly caused by the coronavirus or attributed to the pandemic’s impact on Health systems in that period.
That number is more than double the Johns Hopkins University official death toll by over 6 millionwith most of the excess mortality – calculated as the difference between the number of deaths that occurred and the number that would be expected in the absence of the pandemic based on previous data – in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas.
“Most excess deaths (84%) are concentrated in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas. About 68% of excess deaths are concentrated in just 10 countries globally. Middle-income countries represent 81% of the 14.9 million excess deaths (53% in lower-middle-income countries and 28% in upper-middle-income countries) over the 24-month period, with high- and low-income countries each representing respectively 15% and 4%, “the agency said.
A team led by Canadian researchers valued that there have been more than 3 million uncounted coronavirus deaths India alone, while the new WHO analysis estimated that missed deaths in India ranged from 3.3 million to 6.5 million.
Challenging the WHO methodology, the Indian Ministry of Family Health and Welfare labeled the analysis as “questionable”, complaining that the estimates were published “without adequately addressing India’s concerns.”
Estimates for the two-year period confirm that the global death toll was higher for men than for women and higher among the elderly.
The estimates are the result of a global collaboration supported by the work of the COVID-19 Mortality Assessment Technical Advisory Group and national consultations.
While many countries do not yet have the capacity for reliable mortality surveillance, using a publicly available methodology the WHO says countries can use their own data to generate or update their own estimates.
“These sobering data not only indicate the impact of the pandemic, but also the need for all countries to invest in more resilient health systems that can support essential health services during crises, including stronger health information systems,” said WHO director general, Dr. This was stated by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a note. “WHO is committed to working with all countries to strengthen their health information systems to generate better data for better decisions and better outcomes.”
WHO said it is still unable to distinguish between direct deaths from COVID-19 and others caused by the pandemic, nothing a future project examining death certificates could probe.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.