Actual global Covid-19 death toll might be up to three times higher

GENEVA – The actual figure of global coronavirus-related deaths might be two to three times higher than official numbers show as many countries face challenges in properly estimating and reporting the fatalities counts, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

Since its outbreak, the Covid-19 has infected over 153 million people and caused more than 3.2 million deaths globally by May 1 this year, a toll on humanity that is likely underreported and might be several times higher, the WHO said in its annual “state of the world’s health” assessment presented in the 2021 World Health Statistics.

The officially reported global death toll was 1.8 million in 2020, while the WHO estimated that at least three million died of the virus, a difference of 1.2 million people.

The difference between official and actual numbers might create even more difficulties to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, the WHO said.

The organization also said that almost half of the global Covid-19 fatalities were found in the Americas and a third in Europe, as those two regions were the most affected worldwide.

High-income countries accounted for 45% of global cases, even if they represented only 12.4% of the world population.

The United States, India, and Brazil had the highest number of cumulative cases with 32 million, 24 million, and 15 million cases, respectively, the WHO said in its weekly update. (Xinhua