Who Covid Death Figures For India: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has put the number of Covid-19 deaths in India at around 4.7 million, which the highest in the world.
The deaths, according to the report released on Thursday, could be directly due to the disease or indirectly caused by the pandemic’s impact on health systems and society. India’s Covid toll is approximately a third of the global death number, the report said.
The WHO estimate of Covid deaths in India is 10-times the official count, and the government has strongly rejected the figure and the methodology. In an official statement, the Union Health Ministry said that India had been consistently objecting to the methodology adopted by WHO to project excess mortality estimates based on mathematical models. “Despite India’s objection to the process,
methodology and outcome of this modelling exercise, WHO has released the excess mortality estimates without adequately addressing India’s concerns,” the Health Ministry said.
The WHO numbers are taken at face value that would imply India missed 90% of all Covid-19 deaths in the first two years of the pandemic – and possibly millions of deaths were not even recorded.Significantly past data shows that India records over 90% of all its deaths.
According to WHO, 8.3 lakh Covid-19 deaths happened in 2020 – the official Covid-19 toll for India for that year is 1.49 lakh. The government Thursday said that an estimated 81.2 lakh people died in the country that year due to all causes. This is consistent with past data that shows that, on an average, about 83.5 lakh people die in the country every year in the last decade and a half.
WHO estimates say that 39.1 lakh Covid-19 deaths happened in 2021. This is at least 4 lakh more than what the entire world, put together, reported that year. India’s official Covid-19 death toll for 2021 is 3.32 lakh. That would mean that India missed almost 92% of the Covid-19 deaths in that year. At a time when government is offering mandatory cash compensation for every Covid-19 death, there is an added incentive for people to get the deaths registered.
The WHO numbers would also imply that the Covid-19 deaths per million population in India is 3,448, instead of 384 according to the official death toll. The global average for deaths per million is about 804. In India, Kerala has the highest deaths per million population right now, barring Goa. About 1,950 people per million population died in Kerala, which is supposed to be one of the best states in keeping records.
Meanwhile, WHO show that the global full death toll associated directly or indirectly with the Covid-19 pandemic (described as “excess mortality”) between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 was approximately 14.9 million (range 13.3 million to 16.6 million).