Following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID excess mortality estimates, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Dr. Balram Bhargava claimed that the country has a systemic data pool and that it does not need to rely on “modelling, extrapolations, and press reports” to determine COVID-related death.
As per WHO reports, India has the maximum number of Covid-19 deaths.
Dr. Bhargava, on Thursday, stated, “We didn’t have a definition of death when COVID deaths occurred. Even the World Health Organization lacked one. Will it be COVID death if someone tests positive today and dies two weeks later? Will it be COVID death if the person dies after two or six months?”
Adding more to this, he further explained that the criteria look at all the data and determine if the patient dies 30 days after testing positive. The reason behind this is that 95% of the deaths that happened after testing positive for COVID-19 occurred within the first four weeks.
To determine COVID deaths, DR Bhargava focused on systemic data rather than modelling activities.
“We have enormous volumes of data. More than 97-98 percent of the 1.3 billion people have been vaccinated with the first dosage, and approximately 190 crore vaccine doses have been used, according to our data. So, everything is systematically gathered” said DG ICMR.
According to new WHO estimates, the total death toll related directly or indirectly with the COVID-19 pandemic between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 was roughly 14.9 million (range 13.3 million to 16.6 million).
According to the WHO research, COVID-19 is likely to have killed over 4.7 million individuals in India.
Meanwhile, India has expressed strong opposition to the WHO’s use of mathematical models to predict coronavirus excess death estimates, claiming that actual data is available.
The validity and robustness of the models utilized, as well as the technique of data gathering, are questioned, according to the Health Ministry in a statement.