True global Covid-19 death toll might be up to three times higher

WHO HQ. Photo taken on March 30, 2021 shows the exterior view of the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Xinhua/Chen Junxia

GENEVA: The actual figure of global coronavirus-related deaths might be two to three times higher than official numbers showed as many countries face challenges to properly estimate and report the number of fatalities, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

Since its outbreak, the novel coronavirus has infected over 153 million people and caused more than 3.2 million deaths globally by May 1 this year, a toll on humanity that is likely underreported and might be several times higher, the WHO said in its annual “state of the world’s health” assessment presented in the 2021 World Health Statistics.

The officially reported global death toll was 1.8 million in 2020, while the WHO estimated that at least three million died of the virus, a difference of 1.2 million people.

The difference between official and actual numbers might create even more difficulties to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, the WHO said.

The organization also said that almost half of the global coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) fatalities were found in the Americas and a third in Europe, as those two regions were the most affected worldwide.

High-income countries accounted for 45 percent of global cases, even if they represented only 12.4 percent of the world population.

The United States, India, and Brazil had the highest number of cumulative cases with 32 million, 24 million, and 15 million cases, respectively, the WHO said Wednesday in its weekly update.

Xinhua News Agency


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