India denies undercounting pandemic deaths by the millions

New Delhi, Jul 22 (EFE).- Indian authorities on Thursday denied claims by independent research that as many as four million excess deaths have gone unreported by official records during the pandemic.

The Washington DC-based Centre for Global Development (CGD) think-tank published a report on India’s excess mortality that claimed the real number of excess deaths from all causes in India since the beginning of the pandemic could be as high as four million.

The report cast doubt on India’s official Covid-19 death toll of just over 400,000 as of July this year but the government rebuked the report Thursday.

“The reports assume that all the excess mortality figures are Covid deaths, which is not based on facts and totally fallacious,” said the Health Ministry in a statement.

The ministry argued that excess mortality is a term used to describe deaths for all causes, which means that “attributing these deaths to Covid-19 is completely misleading.”

India has maintained a Coronavirus mortality rate of close to 1.5%, a low percentage compared to other nations affected.

The ministry discredited the think-tank’s estimations to reach such conclusions.

“The extrapolation of deaths has been done on an audacious assumption that the likelihood of any given infected person dying is the same across countries, dismissing the interplay between various direct & indirect factors such as race, ethnicity, genomic constitution of a population, previous exposure levels to other diseases and the associated immunity developed in that population,” they said.

The ministry did not provide details on what causes are at the root of its excess mortality.

The CGD research reached its concussions with three main sources: the civil registry of seven Indian states, incidence rates compared to global figures, and a survey with 800,000 participants.

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