Earlier this year, India rose through the ranks to become the country with the second highest number of COVID-19 cases recorded. But reports suggest that this dubious honour might be well off the mark. Over the last few months, several analyses have suggested that India's COVID-19 death toll might have been several times more than the officially reported four lakh mark. Now, a report co-authored by former chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian contends that excess deaths in the country during the pandemic months could be as high as 4.9 million.
The report tracks mortality estimates from the pandemic’s start through June 2021. Using three different data sources, the researchers eventually touched upon an estimate of up to 4.9 million excess deaths. It must be noted here that not all excess deaths can be attributed to COVID-19.
"All estimates suggest that the death toll from the pandemic is likely to be an order of magnitude greater than the official count of 400,000. They also suggest that the first wave was more lethal than is believed," the report by Washington-based Center for Global Development added.
With 42,015 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, India's daily positivity rate remained less than 3% for 30 consecutive days. There are currently 4,07,170 active cases, which constitute 1.30 per cent of total cases.
The COVID-19 death toll climbed to 4,18,480 with 3,998 fresh fatalities in the last 24 hours as Maharashtra carried out the 14th reconciliation exercise of Covid data in the state. As a result, the state's positive case tally increased by 2,479 while the death tally increased by 3,509, the ministry informed in its bulletin yesterday.