COVID-19-related deaths 6 times reported figures in India

Projected reported deaths due to COVID-19 will be just over 100 as of March 1, 2022, according to DTE analysis

By Pulaha Roy
Published: Monday 15 November 2021

Excess deaths due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were six times the reported deaths, as of October 29, 2021, in India, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), a health research group with the University of Washington.

Excess deaths are defined as the difference between the observed number of deaths during a specific time period and the expected number of deaths in the same time, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

IHME had previously predicted excess deaths globally, but its revised model focuses solely on COVID-19-related excess deaths. The research group also projected future COVID-19 trends for India.

Projected reported deaths due to COVID-19 will be just over 100 as of March 1, 2022, according to the data analysed by Down To Earth (DTE).

While the figures are nowhere close to the kind of massive spike the country experienced during the second wave (March-June), the group predicted a gross underreporting of deaths in India by six times, which, in absolute figures, will hover around 800 deaths daily come March 2022.

At a more micro-level, underreporting of deaths was six times over official figures at the height of the second wave, with excess deaths due to COVID-19 reaching over 30,000, according to data analysed by DTE.

Throughout April and May (considered to be the peak of the second wave), excess deaths were 6.5 times over reported deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The absolute number of deaths due to COVID-19 was at 1.2 million; it was 0.18 million for April and May 2021, according to IHME.

The research group had come up with ‘20 countries with the highest numbers of excess COVID-19 deaths, March 2020 to May 2021’ in its last excess death analysis in March; India ranked second with over 0.7 million COVID-19-related deaths.

The group has revised its model with more provincial / state-level data, like civil registration of deaths of nine states in India, added for better analysis and a more robust projection model.

The group has a database of 163 countries and 220 states and provinces.

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