Approximately 14.9 million people worldwide die as a direct or indirect result of Covid-19 between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021, according to new World Health Organization estimates – almost three times as many deaths. were officially reported.
A total of 5.4 million Covid-19 deaths were reported to WHO at the time, resulting in an estimated 9.5 million deaths over the reported number.
“Severe deaths are the difference between the number of recorded deaths and those that would be expected in the absence of an epidemic,” said Samira Asma, assistant director-general of the data, Analytics and Delivery for Impact Division at WHO.
14.9 million deaths include “WHO-reported Covid-19 deaths, Covid-19 deaths that have not been counted or reported … by the public,” Asma explained. This figure also excludes any preventable deaths. due to changes in social behavior, such as the death of a few people due to a car crash due to road closures or traffic restrictions.
The average mortality rate was 13.3 to 16.6 million over a 24-month period, according to a method used in the WHO report.
The metric paints a full picture of the epidemic and could be used to guide and implement public health policies, according to Asma.
“If we look down, we may invest less. And if we do count, we may miss out on interventions where it is most needed, and this also deepens inequality,” he said.
William Msemburi, a technical officer at the WHO’s Data and Analytics unit, said that about 57% of fatal deaths were men, and 82% were people over the age of 60.
About 70% of fatalities are concentrated in ten countries, says Mussemburi, including the United States.
In April, the Indian Ministry of Health disputed WHO’s excessive data estimates of that country, calling the data “questionable” in a Twitter statement.
Msemburi said India had reported that 481,000 people were killed by Covid-19 in a 24-month period – but the WHO method showed that they were almost 10 times the number estimated, with 4.74 million deaths, and the population more than 3.3 million to 6.5 million deaths.
CNN contacted the Indian Department of Health to comment on the report, but did not respond immediately. According to the Indian Ministry of Health, 523,975 people have died as a result of Covid-19 since the outbreak began.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Asma said the WHO would continue to engage with India to “agree on the various dimensions” of the data.
Somnath Chatterji, senior adviser to the Department of Data and Statistics, emphasized the importance of overcrowding in the WHO report.
“These are not numbers because of numbers,” Chatterji said, noting that in addition to the number of direct deaths due to Covid-19, the data “estimates the damage caused by Covid, due to health disruptions. Services.”
“So if these numbers were tracked at the right time, then in reality, governments would be able to deliver interventions to the right people at the right time in the right place, wouldn’t they?
“These sad data not only reflect the impact of the epidemic but also the need for all countries to invest in robust health systems that can sustain critical health services in times of crisis, including robust health information systems,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom said. Ghebreyesus said in a statement. “WHO is committed to working with all countries to strengthen their health information systems to produce better data for better decisions and better outcomes.”