What is happening in India?
According to the very serious journal Nature, the thesis of 3.2 million deaths linked to Covid, or six times more than the government’s figures, is confirmed. This adds to the global death toll and raises fears of similar situations in other countries.
In an attempt to downplay the global scale of Covid, many “reassurance seekers” often make comparisons with other pandemics in the past. With a total of 5.4 million officially reported deaths worldwide, we are indeed a far cry from the terrible toll of the Black Death, which is believed to have killed about 200 million people in the mid-14th century.
Clearly, medical progress has been made and the mortality from SARS-CoV-2 is not similar, so official counts should now be distrusted. In addition to the fact that the epidemic is actively continuing and continues to kill, above all the results of previous waves remain very unreliable in some countries. The one presented by India in particular. On January 6, the prestigious scientific journal Science reported that “a leading epidemiologist who claimed that the country had been spared the worst of Covid-19 has conducted a rigorous re-analysis of available mortality data”. He concluded that he was largely wrong.
Prabhat Jha, who is at the University of Toronto, testifies, “India has a ‘considerably higher’ number of Covid-19 deaths than official reports suggest – nearly 3 million, more than six times what the government has acknowledged and the highest number of any country.” Science, which publishes the work of the research team, points out that the work “could prompt other countries with abnormally low death rates to come under scrutiny and push up the total number of pandemic victims worldwide.”
After all the slippage of researchers and “official” figures in India, the researchers made their estimates using data obtained from an independent polling company. The latter interviewed nearly 140,000 people across India by telephone, asking if anyone in each household had died of Covis-19. The people’s responses were compared with the data that would be expected from government records. Experts were quick to observe large discrepancies, confirming the hypothesis of a massive underestimation of deaths. Other methods were then used to refine their findings.
One WHO official highly valued this computational approach and said, “The study design is sound,” reacted a WHO official, saying that “countries can use this approach” to propose estimates of excess mortality. The World Health Organization, she added, is also working on a global assessment of deaths, based not only on official data but on analyses that bypass underreporting such as that observed in India.
Concerning the recent reports of the researchers, the Indian authorities have been clearly incriminated by researchers for many months, the major differences between the official and unofficial figures could be explained as much by the will to hide the extent of the epidemic, as by massive disorganization of the health system. The tools put in place for the registration of deaths were in fact seriously dysfunctional before the occurrence of Covid, so data were already missing in 2018. The health crisis that followed probably only accentuated the disorganization of a country six times the size of France, with no less than 1.4 billion inhabitants.
It is necessary to recognize that India, let’s filter the information and let the researchers do their work in order to understand the extent of this epidemic in India, it is not the case in China where all the information is censored and they refused to give the necessary information to the WHO, which could have allowed the researchers of the whole world to better apprehend this epidemic and to better protect themselves.
If India, which is very close to China in terms of geography and population, has a minimum of 3 million deaths, it is clear that the official figures of Beijing on the number of deaths since January 2020, which is 4,636, seem ridiculous.
It is high time that China gives the real figures.
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