- Right from the beginning of the declaration of the pandemic, there was always an unspoken apprehension and doubts about the claims made by the government authorities vis-à-vis confirmed infection rates and most importantly, total fatality rate courtesy destructions wreaked by the dreaded virus. All along these last year and a half, a lingering suspicion about the veracity of official figures on the infection rates and death rates were making justifiable rounds. The print, as well as the electronic media, did elaborately debate on the matter with nothing conclusive to prove misgivings being expressed from different quarters. Of course, countrymen precisely know how the official machinery functions and hence, were always skeptical surrounding the issue.
- The second Covid wave turned out to be even more destructive and damaging to the well-being of the nation as compared to the first wave going by the number of deaths per day witnessed during the peak months of May and June. As per the Union Health Ministry, India’s cumulative death toll stands at 4,14,482 – the world’s third-highest after the United States 609,000 and Brazil’s 542,000. The report attributed to a US research group study, the Center for Global Development, estimates the highest yet for the carnage in the country of 1.3 billion people which is yet to emerge from a devastating surge partly fuelled by the Delta variant in April and May. Death rates would surely be taken with a pinch of salt but would not shock the Indian citizens though.
- The study so analyzed suggested that 34 lakhs to 47 lakh people had died from the virus from the start of the pandemic to June this year. The researchers state that true deaths are likely to be in the several million, not hundred of thousands as is reported from official channels making this arguably India’s worst human tragedy since partition and independence. The report was based on estimating excess mortality, the number of extra people who died compared with pre-crisis figures. Lending credence to the study, the authors of the study also included Arvind Subramanian, a former Chief Economic Adviser to the Union Government, who went about partly analyzing death registrations in some states as well as a recurring national economic study.
PC: DNA Web Team
- However, it is to be noted that the research which also had a Harvard University expert acknowledged that estimating mortality with statistical confidence was difficult. It further mentioned that all estimates suggest the death toll from the pandemic is likely to be an order of magnitude greater than the official count. Needless to mention, several states are adding adjusted death counts due to Covid even as we read on the matter taking the overall numbers a notch higher. As you are aware, reports emerging from many states did showcase a glaring mismatch declared Covid related deaths as compared to the one recorded at Birth & Death registration offices. The Union Health Ministry should come clean on the matter.