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The number of excess deaths reported during India’s Covid-19 pandemic could be up to 10 times the official Covid-19 death toll, a working paper published by the US-based Center for Global Development said.
Between 3.4 and 4.9 million estimated excess deaths were reported in India between Jan. 2020 and June 2021, while the Indian health ministry's reported death toll of approximately 400,000.
The report released Tuesday estimated excess deaths — the gap between those recorded and those that would have been expected — to be 3 million to 4.7 million between January 2020 and June 2021. It said an accurate figure may “prove elusive” but the true death toll “is likely to be an order of magnitude greater than the official count.”
The U.S. has donated 46 million doses to developing and other countries separately from domestic supplies, according to UNICEF. South Korea has concluded a swap deal with Israel to borrow surplus vaccines. However, the number of doses available under these and other arrangements is far less than that needed by countries around the world.
Officially India has recorded just 414,000 Covid-19 deaths since the virus was first detected in the country in early 2020. The Indian government counts only patients who die in hospital with a positive test as Covid-19 deaths, excluding large numbers of victims who could not obtain tests or hospital care, or who died from coronavirus-related complications after being discharged.
A second study, also published on Tuesday, estimated that India had suffered between 3.4m and 4.7m excess deaths during the pandemic, about 10 times the official death toll.
The number of excess deaths in India during the Covid-19 pandemic could be 10 times higher than the official death toll, according to a study that estimates that between 3 million and 4.7 million more people died than would be expected between January 2020 and June 2021.
The study, carried out by the US-based Center for Global Development, examined three different sources of data to piece together one of the most comprehensive pictures yet of the pandemic in India.