WHO Says India Has Maximum Covid Deaths; The Government Objects
India has strongly refuted the latest World Health Organization (WHO) report on the number of Covid deaths. According to the WHO report, more than 4.7 million people in India have died because of Covid-19. However, the government of India has objected to this report.
The latest report was released by WHO on Thursday. WHO said that between January 2020 and December 2021, there were 4.7 million “excess” Covid-19 deaths in India. This figure is 10 times higher than India’s official figures.
WHO said the figure accounts for almost a third of Covid deaths globally. However, India strongly objected to the use of mathematical models by the WHO for projecting the Covid death rate.
India objects to the latest WHO report
India said that the “figure is totally removed from reality.” The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said the WHO’s data is incorrect. The Union health ministry called the WHO’s system of data collection “statistically unsound and scientifically questionable.”
The Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Dr Balram Bhargava also objected to WHO’s data. Dr Balram Bhargava said the country has an “extremely robust” system of births and deaths registration and it does not need to rely on press reports for ascertaining Covid-related deaths. He said that WHO has projected different excess mortality figures for India citing multiple models.
As per PIB (Press Information Bureau), a government statement read, “India has been consistently objecting to the methodology adopted by WHO to project excess mortality estimates based on mathematical models.”
Deaths under the Civil Registration System
Reportedly, in 2020, India recorded 4,74,806 deaths under the Civil Registration System. The ministry said that the Civil Registration System 2020 was shared with WHO for the preparation of the excess mortality report.
The ministry further said that WHO ignored the available data submitted by India and published the excess mortality estimates for which the methodology, source of data, and outcomes have been consistently questioned by India.