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CGD in the News

Washington Post Editorial: The official pandemic death toll is horrific. The actual toll could be twice that.

July 24, 2021

From the article:

A key measure, excess mortality, is the difference between the observed numbers of deaths from all causes and what would normally be expected over the same time period, absent the pandemic. This helps illuminate the true scope of the losses, and results can be startling. For example, India’s reported toll is about 419,470. But when Abhishek Anand and colleagues at the Center for Global Development looked at three different data sources, they estimated that excess mortality in India during the pandemic was “an order of magnitude” greater than the official figure, or about 3.4 million to 4.9 million deaths. Although the study cautioned that data gaps remain, they concluded that India may have misjudged the size of the first wave, when up to 2 million may have died. They conclude that “not grasping the scale of the tragedy in real time in the first wave may have bred the collective complacency that led to the horrors of the second wave.”

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