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Foreign - 2 weeks ago

WHO: 14.9 million deaths linked to coronavirus pandemic

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the deaths linked to the COVID pandemic between January 2020 and December 2021 were approximately 14.9 million.


The WHO disclosed this in a statement on Thursday, describing the figure as “excess mortality”.

The figure is two times more than the reported six million deaths which have been recorded as a result of COVID.

The excess mortality is calculated as the difference between the number of deaths that have occurred and the number that would be expected in the absence of the pandemic based on data from earlier years.

According to the WHO, the excess deaths include fatalities associated with COVID directly or indirectly (due to the pandemic’s impact on health systems and society).

WHO said it is believed that some deaths that are attributable to COVID have not been certified as such because tests had not been conducted prior to death.

The organisation also said most of the excess deaths – 84 percent — are concentrated in southeast Asia, Europe, and the Americas, while about 68 percent of excess deaths are concentrated in just 10 countries globally.

The organisation said middle-income countries account for 81 percent of the 14.9 million excess deaths over the 24-month period, with high-income and low-income countries each accounting for 15 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, described the data as “sobering”, adding that it shows the need for countries to invest in “more resilient health systems that can sustain essential health services during crises, including stronger health information systems”.

“WHO is committed to working with all countries to strengthen their health information systems to generate better data for better decisions and better outcomes,” he added.

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