It has been officially calculated that Until the end of 2021, around 6 million people worldwide would have died from the Covid-19 pandemic, a figure that according to some researchers is not entirely true since Up to 3 times more deaths would have been recorded since we learned about the coronavirus at the end of 2020.
Haidong Wang, who is a specialist demographer at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, conducted a study to determine whether or not there was a bias in the official numbers of fatalities from Covid, finding that yes there was a wide difference between the records and what can actually be.
The researchers, led by Wang, looked at all-cause mortality in 187 countries, using weekly or monthly reported data when available and creating models to estimate for others. Their study was published Thursday in the journal The Lancet.
His research estimated that at least 18 million more deaths were recorded, from the start of the pandemic in 2020 to the end of 2021. The difference in figures could be explained by the fact that in some places they have lost or the official counts are not entirely accurate due to the lack of diagnostic or notification resources.
It could also derive from some “indirect effects” derived from the coronavirus pandemic, such as lack of access to medical care, changes in behavior during quarantines, as well as the economic crisis that the situation derived.
The research also found that for every 1,000 people in the world, the pandemic caused more than one excess death over the course of 2 years. In addition, they found that 7 countries accounted for more than half of all unaccounted-for deaths during this time period: India, the United States, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, and Pakistan.
Wang stressed that knowing this figure regarding to excess mortality can help to more accurately measure the true impact of the Covid pandemic.
The WHO is already working to know the real numbers of deaths from coronavirus
About the topic, The World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that it is very important to understand the mortality related to Covid in order to know the course that the pandemic will take. For this reason, in February 2021, together with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, it formed a specialized group to study the issue in depth.
“Gaps in high-quality, timely and disaggregated data are a major challenge for global health,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the group’s opening meeting. “Covid-19 has created an unprecedented demand for this data. While we are all familiar with the number of daily deaths, the total mortality figures are likely to be much higher,” he acknowledged at the time.
“Deaths directly attributable to Covid-19 provide only a narrow perspective on the wide range of damage caused by the pandemic. The collateral damage of Covid-19 is much broader. It is important to quantify this now, as it can inform the choices that governments need to make regarding prioritization between routine and emergency health systems,” read a statement posted on the group’s website.
Understanding excess mortality is also critically important for future global population estimates and pandemic preparedness. But a recent WHO assessment of the capacity of health information systems found that in parts of Africa, only 10% of all deaths were recorded.
Excess mortality rates were also particularly high in their respective regions: Andean Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, and Southern Sub-Saharan Africa, with 5 countries reporting fewer deaths in 2020 and 2021 than they would have actually recorded: Iceland, Australia , Singapore, New Zealand and Taiwan.
The excess mortality due tohe Covid-19 pandemic varied widely within the United States, according to the study. Per capita, it was estimated to be nearly twice as high in Mississippi as in the nation as a whole, for example, but only half as high in Washington state.
“Some excess deaths in Texas are a result of the blackout there last year. And there are always deaths due to natural disasters,” said Bob Anderson, chief of mortality statistics at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who was not involved in the new study.
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