India on Thursday strongly objected to a new World Health Organization (WHO) report which claimed that the country accounts for significantly higher Covid-19 death toll than specified in official figures.
A statement by the government of India objected to the methodology adopted by WHO to project excess mortality estimates based on mathematical models.
“Despite India’s objection to the process, methodology and outcome of this modelling exercise, WHO has released the excess mortality estimates without adequately addressing India’s concerns,” it said.
Referring to the National Report, which contains nation-wide data on births and deaths, the statement said: “These reports are in public domain. 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.”
Excess #COVID Mortality Estimates by @WHO: A rejoinder#India strongly objects to use of mathematical models for projecting excess mortality estimates in view of availability of authentic datahttps://t.co/u51mfvzH6t pic.twitter.com/OHP6e32W6y
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) May 5, 2022
The UN body has claimed that almost three times as many people have died as a result of Covid-19 as the official data shows. It says there were 14.9 million excess deaths associated with Covid-19 by the end of 2021, whereas the official count of deaths directly attributable to the pandemic and reported to WHO in that period, from January 2020 to the end of December 2021, is slightly more than 5.4 million.
The report has suggested that 4.7 million people died in India as a result of the pandemic, mainly during a huge surge in May and June 2021. The Indian government, however, has put the death toll for the January 2020-December 2021 period at about 480,000.