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India’s Covid-19 deaths is up to 10 times higher than reported: Study

NEW DELHI India's coronavirus death toll is up to 10 times higher than the nearly 415,000 fatalities reported by the authorities, likely making it the country's worst humanitarian disaster since independence, a US research group said yesterday.

The Centre for Global Development study's estimate is the highest yet for the carnage in the nation of 1.3 billion people, which is emerging from a devastating surge partly fuelled by the Delta variant in April and May.

The study - which analysed data from the start of the pandemic to June this year - suggested that between 3.4 million and 4.7 million people had died from the virus.

"True deaths are likely to be in the several millions, not hundreds of thousands, making this arguably India's worst human tragedy since partition and independence," researchers said.

EXCESS MORTALITY

The report was based on estimating "excess mortality", the number of extra people who died compared with pre-crisis figures.

The authors - who included Dr Arvind Subramanian, a former chief government economic adviser - did this partly by analysing death registrations in some states as well as a recurring national economic study.

They also compared surveys of the spread of Covid-19 in India with international death rates.

The researchers, which also included a Harvard University expert, acknowledged that estimating mortality with statistical confidence was difficult.

"(But) all estimates suggest that the death toll from the pandemic is likely to be an order of magnitude greater than the official count," they said. - AFP

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