WHO estimates that the number of deaths directly or indirectly related to the pandemic between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 was approximately 14.9 million, 13 percent more than normally expected in the two-year period.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Gebrejesus said: “These sober data show not only the impact of the pandemic, but also the need for all countries to invest in more sustainable health systems that can support basic health services during crises, including more accurate health information. systems.
“WHO is committed to working with all countries to strengthen their health information systems to produce better data for better decision making and better outcomes.”
The agency estimates that many countries have underestimated the number of people who have died from Covid, with a total of only 5.4 million registered.
Most of the excess deaths (84 percent) are concentrated in Southeast Asia, Europe and America, the WHO said, while about 68 percent of the excess deaths are concentrated in only 10 countries.
It was also found that middle-income countries accounted for 81 per cent of the 14.9 million surplus deaths (53 per cent in below-average and 28 per cent in above-average incomes) in the 24-month period. high and low income accounts for 15% and 4% respectively.
Global death toll it was also found to be higher among men (57 percent) than among women (43 percent) and higher among the elderly.
“Measuring excess mortality is an important component for understanding the impact of a pandemic,” said Dr. Samira Asma, Assistant Director-General for WHO Data, Analytics and Delivery.
“Shifts in mortality trends provide decision-makers with information to guide policies to reduce mortality and effectively prevent future crises.
“Due to limited investment in data systems in many countries, the true degree of excess mortality often remains hidden.
“These new estimates use the best available data and have been made using a robust methodology and a completely transparent approach.”
Dr Ibrahim Sose Fall, Assistant Director-General for Emergency Response, added: “The data is the basis of our daily work to promote health, peacekeeping and care for the vulnerable.
“We know where the data gaps are, and we need to collectively strengthen our support for countries so that each country has the ability to track outbreaks in real time, provide basic health services and protect public health.”
The assessments were made as a result of global cooperation supported by the work of the Technical Advisory Group on Mortality Assessment from Covid-19 and consultations with countries. This group consisted of many of the world’s leading experts who have developed an innovative methodology for obtaining comparable mortality estimates, even if data are incomplete or unavailable.
“The United Nations system is working together to give an authoritative estimate of the global number of lives lost in the pandemic. This work is an important part of UNESCO’s ongoing collaboration with the WHO and other partners to improve global mortality estimates, “said Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
Mr Stefan Schweinfest, Director of the United Nations Statistics Division, said: “The lack of data makes it difficult to assess the true scale of the crisis with serious consequences for people’s lives.
“The pandemic is a vivid reminder of the need for better coordination of data systems in countries and increased international support to build better systems, including for the registration of deaths and other vital events.”