This new intel comes from the University of Washington, DC’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). IHMEs report asserted that as many deaths go unreported, as most countries only record those that occur in hospitals or of patients with a confirmed infection, the death toll is likely much higher than that reported by Johns Hopkins University data, for example.
The reported Covid-19 mortality is strongly related to the levels of testing in a country, the IHME added. “If you don’t test very much, you’re most likely to miss Covid deaths,” Christopher Murray, IMHE Director, said in a briefing call with journalists.
It’s difficult to track a rapidly spreading infectious disease
IHME therefore estimated total Covid-19 deaths by comparing anticipated deaths from all causes based on pre-pandemic trends with the actual number of all deaths caused during the pandemic. As Al Jazeera explains, the report only includes deaths caused directly by the virus, not deaths caused by the pandemic’s disruption to healthcare systems and communities.
“Many countries have devoted exceptional effort to measuring the pandemic’s toll, but our analysis shows how difficult it is to accurately track a new and rapidly spreading infectious disease,” Murray said.
In India, Covid case numbers have been rising exponentially as the country battles with a surge in hospital admissions. Many nations have offered support as India’s under-funded healthcare system struggles to cope with the increasing demand for medical oxygen and hospital beds.