Describing the number of global coronavirus deaths as ‘significantly undercounted”, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says at least eight million people have died from the virus so far.
“We are likely facing a significant undercount of total deaths directly and indirectly attributed to COVID-19,” The agency said.
WHO made the revelation while presenting its annual World Health Statistics report. It estimated that total deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 were at least 3 million or 1.2 million more than the 1.8 million figure officially reported.
And by May 20 2021,WHO statistics showed around 3.4 million people had died globally as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, although the real figure could be much higher, the WHO said.
With the rising death toll in Latin America and in Asia as new variants spread, the death toll ‘would truly be two to three times higher,’ said Samira Asma, WHO’s Assistant Director-General in its data and analytics division.
“So I think safely about 6 to 8 million deaths could be an estimate on a cautionary note,” Asma told a virtual press briefing.