New Delhi, May 5 (EFE).- The Indian government on Thursday said a World Health Organization report that put the Covid death toll in the country at around 4.7 million had used “questionable” data, with the figure being 10 times higher than the official number of deaths.
“India strongly objects to the use of mathematical models for projecting excess mortality estimates in view of the availability of authentic data,” the Indian health ministry said in a detailed statement.
“Validity and robustness of the models used and methodology of data collection are questionable,” it added.
The authorities were responding to a WHO report that estimated the excess coronavirus deaths across the world between 2020 and 2021.
According to the study, the disease has directly or indirectly caused close to 15 million deaths across the world, which is double than the initial calculations.
India tops the list with 4.7 million estimated deaths, nearly 10 times higher than the official data, followed by Russia and Indonesia (more than a million deaths each) and the United States (932,000).
As per Indian health ministry data, the South Asian country has so far registered 523,975 deaths, including the 55 deaths recorded on Thursday.
On Tuesday the government had released the Civil Registration System data, which lists the births and deaths during 2020, ahead of schedule.
As per the data, In 2020 India registered around 800,000 excess deaths compared to the year before.
Based on this, the Indian government has insisted that there was no dramatic surge in deaths that would suggest that millions of Covid casualties had not been recorded.
“In view of the availability of authentic data published through Civil Registration System (CRS) by Registrar General of India (RGI), mathematical models should not be used for projecting excess mortality numbers for India,” the government statement said.
“India firmly believes that such robust and accurate data generated through Legal Framework of a Member State must be respected, accepted and used by WHO rather than relying on less than accurate mathematical projection based on non-official sources of data,” New Delhi insisted.
Estimates similar to those of the WHO study have already been released by other institutions in the past.
A report by the Center for Global Development over excess Covid mortalities in India said last year that the country had witnessed up to five million excess deaths.
India, which has consistently denied these estimates, has maintained that it has registered a mortality rate of less than 2 percent among a population of over 1.35 billion, lower than other affected nations.
However, during the peak of the second wave of the pandemic in 2021, devastating scenes of hospitals and crematoriums running out of space were witnessed across the country, with the daily caseload jumping over 400,000. EFE