“Covid 19 death toll- What is the actual death rate in India?”

Covid 19 death tolls in India, are we getting the accurate data?

Covid 19, 21st century’s pandemic, directly or indirectly we all got effected by it. Covid 19, 21st century’s pandemic, directly or indirectly we all got effected by it. Now if we ask you a question, what is the deceased rate from Covid 19 in India? Now, most of you will probably be able to come up with the data,-

Covid 19 chart

How much accurate is this data? Really we lost near to 4 lakh people from Covid 19? How about we examine it all the more further.

The real-time mortality impact of the Covid 19 pandemics is an important statistical measure to guide policy responses. But measuring actual data is not an easy task.

WHO (World Health Organization) in Jan 2021, estimated based on the excess rate of deaths in Europe & the American continents actual death 1.6 times over the official count.

The issue of undercounting even in develop wellbeing public frameworks across the world is on the grounds that patients who pass on because of cardiovascular issues among others even after recuperation from Covid 19 are sometimes not followed and enlisted with Coronavirus deceased.

For example,

Recently news came of Covid cases in Bihar, where the reported death toll increased by 72% suddenly. This data came after Patna High Court asks to audit because HC was getting different data from agencies in the Buxar district. Bihar is among the states where the death of civil registration is lowest, only 34.1%. In UP similar kinds of incidents are happening.

With this kind of system estimation of an actual count of deceased are difficult to obtain. If the public health system is poor and neither the deaths nor the infections are tracking properly you can’t come up with accurate data of India. These issues we are facing in most of the rural parts of India.

Based on the data of Covid 19 excess death estimation, WHO classifies countries into 3 categories.

  • Countries that have good data available & excess death estimation is possible. For example the countries in Europe.
  • Those Countries which is having obscure data. But still acceptable to use with the process of harmonization or adjustment.
  • Here we come in the third category, countries like India, China where the data of deceased are not available or usable forcing the adoption of an indirect approach of using data from other countries. Unless these countries provide some usable data, external agencies will approach some indirect methods to estimate the data.

Read more: Is there any difference between Covid 19 & Covid 21?

Let’s discuss a method to calculate the death tolls

One simple method is by calculating the ‘excess deaths’ during the given period when the pandemic has raged, compared to the baseline mortality occurring in similar time frames before the pandemic.

Let’s understand with an example-

Suppose in the last month which is May 2021 in a particular place (This exercise works best where the death registrations are relatively high like metro cities) registered deaths are around 10,000. If we take the average of the previous few year’s data, let’s say the average of registered deaths in the last 5 years in May 2021 is around 5000. So we can take an assumption that the extra registration this year happened due to Covid 19.

Real time example

 In GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) the number of excess death registered ever since Covid 19 hits (From April 2020 to May 2021) is over 10 times the officially recorded number of 3,275 deaths for the corresponding period of the entire state of Telangana. There was an estimated 32,752 ‘excess death’. Where 18,420 is between April to Dec 2020 & 14,332 is between Jan to May 2021.

This calculation is based on our previously discussed method, where the previous data is from 2016 to 2019.

** Although it is important to note that ‘excess deaths’ could also include deaths due to some other causes. However, most of these excess deaths in a pandemic peak should largely represent Covid 19 related deaths.

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