NEW DELHI: The Union Health Ministry on Friday rejected a recent study published in the prestigious journal Science, which estimated that more than three million Indians may have died during the two waves of Covid-19. This is more than six times the official Indian estimate. The ministry called this “misleading.”
Without naming the study or review, the ministry said media reports based on it were “harmful”. Officially, the government has recorded less than five lakh Covid deaths so far.
The study published in Science last week had estimated the true Covid toll in India during the first two waves to be between 3.1 million and 3.4 million, including around 2.7 million over the April-July period. , when the second wave was at its peak.
According to the government, the country has a reliable and robust system of birth and death registration based on status which is carried out regularly from gram panchayat level to district and state level under the observation of Registrar General of India.
He also said that the Center has a very comprehensive definition for classifying Covid deaths, based on a globally acceptable categorization and that all deaths are independently reported by states and compiled centrally.
The backlog of Covid-19 mortality data submitted by states at different times is regularly reconciled in central data, the ministry said, adding that a large number of states have reconciled death counts and reported deaths. deaths by arrears in a transparent way. . “Therefore, to predict that deaths were underreported is baseless and without justification.”
The ministry also pointed out that there is an extreme difference in the number of Covid cases and related mortality between states and that any assumption putting all states in one envelope would mean mapping outlier skewed data with states. reporting the lowest mortality, which is bound to stretch the median higher and erroneous results.