The excess of deaths in the India during a Covid-19 pandemic it could reach 4.9 million people, according to a new study that provides more evidence that millions more may have died from the coronavirus than the official count.
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The report by the Washington-based Global Development Center, whose co-author, Arvind Subramanian, was once India’s top economic adviser, includes deaths from all causes from the start of the pandemic until June of this year.
India’s official count of more than 414,000 deaths is the third highest in the world, behind the United States and Brazil, but the study is yet another element of experts’ demands for a rigorous national audit of the number of deaths.
A devastating rise in infections in April and May, driven in large part by Delta variant, more infectious and dangerous, overwhelmed the health system and killed at least 170,000 people in May alone, according to official data.
“What is tragically clear is that too many people, in millions more than hundreds of thousands, may have died,” the report said, estimating between 3.4 million and 4.9 million excess deaths during the pandemic.
But the report did not attribute all excess deaths to Covid-19.
“We focused on all-cause mortality and estimated excess mortality over a pre-pandemic basis, adjusting for seasonality,” said the authors.