DELHI, India — India’s government has dismissed a recent study which estimated that the country’s excess deaths during the pandemic could be 10 times the official COVID-19 toll, calling it “misleading” and “fallacious.”
On July 20, new research by the Center for Global Development estimated excess deaths — the gap between those recorded and those that would have been expected — to be 3.4 million to 4.7 million since the pandemic began. 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.”
On July 22, the health ministry released a statement saying the methodology in the study was misleading and strongly cautioned against attributing all of the excess deaths to COVID-19.
Most experts believe India’s official toll of more than 418,000 dead is a vast undercount, but the government has continually dismissed these concerns as exaggerated. On July 22, India registered over 41,000 new cases and more than 507 official deaths. After a devastating surge earlier this year, confirmed infections in India have been on the decline, but authorities have warned that another surge is likely to hit in the coming months.
Overall, India has the world’s second-highest caseload with more than 31 million confirmed infections.
IANS adds from Thiruvananthapuram: Congress July 16 alleged that 20,913 deaths have not been included in the Covid toll list in Kerala and the Pinarayi Vijayan government was an abject failure in handling the pandemic.
Speaking to the media here at the party headquarters, Congress MP Benny Behanan said the figures provided by Vijayan in his daily statement July 15 shows 15,025 Covid deaths.
"This is a grossly understated figure and we have found out that while the state government comes out with daily Covid deaths, the various local bodies also does the same and across the state what we have found out is that Vijayan's figures are 2.4 percent less than the figures provided by the local bodies," said Behanan.
"I am starting a Covid death count campaign through the social media of mine and all can register their figures of Covid deaths, which have not been accounted by the state government.
"We are going with this campaign to ensure that whenever the compensation is announced for Covid deaths, all those who are left out from the state government list are included and they get the compensation," said Behanan.