As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage, there have been repeated allegations of undercounting of casualties and misinformation when it comes to the overall impact of the deadly virus. Having begun at the end of 2019, the deadly virus has so far infected 165,594,437 individuals and spread to all continents.
In India, there have been repeated allegations of undercounting of deaths due to COVID-19, with some even putting the actual number at 10 times the official data. Even the more conservative estimates have cited obituaries and death reports collated from cemeteries and crematoriums to allege that the list of fatalities is several thousand times higher.
According to the World Health Organization however, things might be far more chaotic than believed before. According to reports, the WHO believes that up to up to three times more people have died due to the pandemic than indicated by the officially reported COVID-19 death toll.
"Preliminary estimates suggest the total number of global “excess deaths” directly and indirectly attributable to COVID-19 in 2020 amount to at least 3 million, 1.2 million higher than the official figures reported by countries to WHO," explains a report shared by the WHO.
Till date, the official cumulative death toll from COVID-19 stands at 3,432,022. The report however notes that the pandemic may have increased deaths from other causes due to disruption to health service delivery and routine immunizations, fewer people seeking care, funding shortages and more.