1 Out of Every 500 People, or 15 Million People Worldwide Killed by COVID – WHO
According to a new World Health Organization estimate, the Covid-19 death toll likely reached nearly 15 million in its first two years, or one in every 500 people worldwide.
The figure, which is far higher than the official figures for 2020 and 2021, includes deaths caused directly by Covid infection as well as those caused indirectly by pandemic disruptions. The new WHO estimate outnumbers the 6.2 million Covid deaths reported by individual governments. Nearly 8.7 million additional deaths, a 140% increase in worldwide deaths.
“These sobering data underscore not only the pandemic’s impact, but also the need for all countries to invest in more resilient health systems capable of sustaining essential health services during crises,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement.
The death toll was computed by deducting all deaths from those that would have been expected under normal circumstances. According to the New York Times, more than one-third of the additional 9 million deaths are thought to have occurred in India, which has disputed the WHO’s new figure and delayed the release of the report. The government of India has maintained its own figure of 523,900 deaths.
According to the WHO report, COVID infections were directly responsible for 9.5 million pandemic deaths. Brazil, Egypt, India, the United States, and Russia accounted for 68% of the excess fatalities.
It is estimated that 70 countries do not keep track of the causes of death among their populations.
According to WHO, the number of deaths was most likely 14.9 million, but it could have been as low as 13.3 million or as high as 16.6 million. Many people died as a result of the pandemic, which overwhelmed health-care systems and limited access to treatment for other health conditions, according to the report. Men accounted for 57% of all fatalities, with the majority occurring in people over 60.
The true extent of excess mortality in many countries is often hidden due to limited investments in data systems, which can help us understand the pandemic’s impact.
India recently provided estimates for 2020 deaths, and WHO is still consulting with the government on the subject. WHO plans to update its estimate as new data becomes available, with the next update including more Indian data.
The World Health Organization also reported in its report:
- Covid had surpassed tuberculosis as the leading infectious-disease killer in the world.
- Lung disease will kill 1.5 million people by 2020.
By comparison, it is estimated that seasonal flu kills between 290,000 and 650,000 people each year.