New Delhi: World Health Organisation's report suggests that the total number of global deaths attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 is at least 3 million, representing 1.2 million more deaths than officially reported
The report titled "The true death toll of Covid-Estimating global excess mortality" now suggest a significant undercounting of Covid deaths globally. As per estimates of the report the actual number of deaths could be even 2 or 3 times high.
In a tweet, Samira Asma, WHO's Assistant Director General for Analytics and Delivery for Impact said that COVID19 was responsible for at least 3 million excess deaths in 2020. According Asman the current estimate is 1.2 million more deaths than officially reported.
The actual number could even be 2 or 3 times high", the tweet.said
WHO said Covid-19 deaths are a key indicator to track the evolution of the pandemic. However, many countries still lack functioning civil registration and vital statistics systems with the capacity to provide accurate, complete and timely data on births, deaths and causes of death.
The report said at the regional level, Covid-19 excess mortality estimates range from 1.34-1.46 million in the Region of the Americas to 1.11-1.21 million in the European Region in 2020. This represents about 60% and 50% more than reported Covid-19 deaths, respectively.
Another assessment found that the percentage of registered deaths ranged from 98% in the European region to only 10% in the African region.
Countries also use different processes to test and report Covid-19 deaths, making comparisons difficult. To overcome these challenges, many countries have turned to excess mortality as a more accurate measure of the true impact of the pandemic, WHO said.
Excess mortality is defined as the difference in the total number of deaths in a crisis compared to those expected under normal conditions. Covid-19 excess mortality accounts for both the total number of deaths directly attributed to the virus as well as the indirect impact, such as disruption to essential health services or travel disruptions.
For 2020, excess mortality attributable to Covid-19 is defined as the difference between the total observed deaths for the year and those expected in the absence of Covid-19. The measure cannot be determined for all countries due to data gaps within some countries.
Other reports say that based on a comparison of Coronavirus deaths in 204 countries relative to their population, Hungary had the most losses to Covid-19 up until May 21, 2021.
The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington School of Medicine is projecting about 9.2 million deaths globally by September 1. "Cases globally are declining but mortality is stagnant. Still, the detection rate of Covid-19 infections is very low, about 7% globally. Based on the seroprevalence surveys that we track at IHME, we estimate about 24% of the public have been infected, so it means that many people are still susceptible out there. Effective R is above 1 in 63 countries, indicating that cases will increase in the coming weeks in these locations."
Globally, Covid-19 has caused approximately 6.9 million deaths, more than double what official numbers show, IHME said.
Many deaths from Covid-19 go unreported because countries only report deaths that occur in hospitals or in patients with a confirmed infection. In many places, weak health reporting systems and low access to health care magnify this challenge.
IHME's analysis found that the largest number of unreported deaths occurred in countries that have had the largest epidemics to-date. However, some countries with relatively smaller epidemics saw a large increase in the death rate when accounting for unreported deaths. This analysis shows that they may be at greater risk for a wider epidemic than previously thought.