India says WHO report claiming four million Covid deaths in India based on flawed methodology
- A WHO report allegedly puts
India’s Covid death toll at 4 million, over eight times more than the official number of under 0.5 million.
- A report by the New York Times alleges that the Indian government has been stalling the release of the WHO report for months.
- Now, the Indian government has come out with a clarification on the matter, claiming that WHO’s methodology is flawed.
AdvertisementThe Indian government is reportedly stalling the
According to a report by the New York Times, the WHO report pegs the global Covid death toll at 15 million, with more than a quarter of those deaths from India alone. Essentially, every one in four Covid deaths across the world are out of India, according to the WHO report.
Now, the Indian government has hit back, saying that the WHO report uses flawed methodology, including using unverified data from 18 Indian states.
India’s primary objection to the WHO report is centered around the statistical modeling used for arriving at the conclusion – the government’s stance is that the model adopted for Tier II countries like India might not be accurate, since it is being used to project Covid deaths in countries like Tunisia as well, which has a population of 11 million, which is multiple times lower than the population in several Indian cities.
“The model gives two highly different sets of excess mortality estimates when using the data from Tier I countries and when using unverified data from 18 Indian States. Such wide variation in estimates raises concerns about validity and accuracy of such a modelling exercise,” the government said in its official statement.
“But the release of the staggering estimate has been delayed for months because of objections from India, which disputes the calculation of how many of its citizens died and has tried to keep it from becoming public,” the report said.
“India has asserted that if the model is accurate and reliable, it should be authenticated by running it for all Tier I countries and if the result of such exercise may be shared with all Member States,” the government added further.
The health ministry also took a jab at the NYT report, expressing surprise that it talks about excess COVID-19 mortality only in India and no other country. “The Times was unable to learn the estimates for other countries,” the NYT report stated.
If the WHO figure of 4 million Covid deaths in India is close to reality, it would mean that the real-world tally is eight times higher than the Indian government’s official number of under 0.5 million deaths.
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