The Covid-19 pandemic killed 13 to 17 million in 2020-21

The Covid-19 pandemic killed 13.3 to 16.6 million people in 2020 and 2021, according to WHO estimates on Thursday, to triple the number of deaths directly attributed to the disease.

the World Health OrganizationThe long-awaited estimate of the total number of deaths caused by the pandemic, including the lives lost due to its ripple effects, finally puts a number on the broader impact of the crisis.

“New estimates from the World Health Organization show that the entire death toll associated directly or indirectly with the Covid-19 pandemic between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 was approximately 14.9 million (from 13.3 million to 16.6 million) “, the UN The health agency said in a statement.

The figure calculates what is called excess mortality due to the Covid-19 crisis, which has increased much of the planet for more than two years.

“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 head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

– Impact deaths –

The excess mortality is calculated as the difference between the number of deaths that have occurred and the number that would have been expected in the absence of the pandemic, based on data from previous years.

The excess mortality includes deaths directly associated with Covid-19, due to the disease and indirectly to the impact of the pandemic on health systems and society.

WHO declared Covid an international public health emergency on January 30, 2020, after cases of the novel coronavirus spread beyond China.

Countries around the world have reported 5.42 million deaths from Covid-19 to WHO in 2020 and 2021, a figure that now stands at 6.24 million, including deaths in 2022.

The Geneva-based organization has long said that the real number of deaths would be much higher than the recorded deaths alone attributed to Covid infections.

Deaths indirectly linked to the pandemic are attributable to other conditions for which people could not access treatment because health systems were overloaded by the crisis.

The WHO said most of the excess deaths – 84 percent – were concentrated in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas.

In fact, 10 countries alone accounted for 68% of all excess deaths.

High-income countries accounted for 15% of excess deaths; upper-middle-income nations 28 percent; Lower-middle-income states 53 percent; and low-income countries four percent.

The global death toll from Covid-19 was higher for men than for women – 57% male, 43% female – and higher among the elderly.

– Understanding the crisis –

“Measuring excess mortality is an essential component in understanding the impact of the pandemic,” said Samira Asma, WHO Deputy Director-General for Data, Analysis and Distribution.

He said changes in mortality trends provide decision makers with the information they need to guide practices that can reduce mortality rates and prevent future crises.

“These new estimates use the best available data and were produced using a robust methodology and a fully transparent approach.”

WHO said the figure of 14.9 million was produced by the world’s leading experts who have developed a methodology for generating estimates where data is lacking.

Many countries lack the capacity for reliable mortality surveillance and therefore do not generate the necessary data to calculate excess mortality rates, but they can do so using publicly available methodology.

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