June 22, 2024

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WHO: 15 million people died from the COVID-19 in the past two years

WHO: 15 million people died from the COVID-19 in the past two years


WHO: 15 million people died from the COVID-19 in the past two years, only 28% less than the initial figures of the 1918 Flu pandemic. 

At present, countries around the world are shrouded in the dark cloud of the COVID-19 epidemic, and it is difficult to breathe so far. How many people have died from the COVID-19?

On May 5, the latest report from the World Health Organization showed that between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021, the total number of deaths directly or ) is about 14.9 million (note: this data does not include 2022 deaths).

This figure is three times the number of deaths that countries around the world have previously reported to the WHO. What does the huge difference between the two data represent? Behind the excess mortality rate, how should we balance the balance between protecting life and maintaining life under the shadow of the epidemic?

In fact, 100 years ago, human beings experienced a pandemic – the 1918 influenza. According to statistics, this pandemic caused 21 million deaths (other data estimated that 50 million to 100 million people died. In the past two years, the COVID-19 has caused the death of 21 million people. 15 million people died, only 28% less than the above figure.

In a serious sense, the COVID-19 is another painful blow to mankind after the pandemic.


The new coronavirus has been with us for three years, and every time a new mutant strain becomes popular, it will set off a new outbreak, causing more people to die in the pandemic.

According to Our World in Data statistics, as of May 7, 2022, the number of deaths from the COVID-19 disease reported worldwide has exceeded 6.25 million, and by 2021, the number of COVID-19 deaths will be 5.44 million.


WHO: 15 million people died from the COVID-19 in the past two years


WHO: 15 million people died from the COVID-19 in the past two years

WHO’s latest assessment of the number of deaths due to the COVID-19, and the global number of COVID-19 deaths disclosed by Data World as of May 2022


But the latest WHO report puts the number at 15 million. In the same time period, 5.44 million and 15 million, why is there such a big difference in the number of direct deaths from the COVID-19?





Behind the excess deaths: the number of deaths we can’t see

Let us first clarify a concept, what is the excess mortality rate.

Excess deaths refer to the actual number of deaths in a country during a certain period of time minus the number of regular deaths in the country before that period of time when there was no epidemic.

Therefore, the data released by the WHO this time includes direct deaths directly caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, and indirect deaths caused by the impact of the epidemic on the health system and society.

Under normal circumstances, since the living environment and conditions of people around the world are relatively stable, the number of deaths in each country will remain stable under a general trend, unless there is a major disaster or major change.

In the past two years, the most significant change has been the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the excess deaths in the past two years can basically be regarded as the actual number of deaths directly or indirectly caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.

Then some readers will find that in the past two years, the number of deaths directly caused by the COVID-19 was 5.44 million, and the number of indirect deaths reached nearly 10 million, which shows that the secondary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be ignored.




WHO: India’s ‘excess deaths’ are 10 times higher than official figures

According to the WHO report, the number of excess deaths in the United States from 2020 to 2021 is 930,000; the official statistics submitted are 820,000, an increase of about 100,000.

This data is estimated by WHO through a model, so is it reliable? Let’s take a look at the specific death situation in the United States in the past ten years.

Before 2019, when the United States was not yet hit by the COVID-19 epidemic, the number of deaths in the United States basically increased steadily year by year between 2.5 million and 2.85 million.

The death toll should be around 2.9 million, but it actually reached 3.38 million/3.45 million, a full 480,000/550,000, and a total of 1.03 million in two years.

This data is 100,000 higher than the data released by the WHO, so the estimated 15 million excess deaths in the WHO data may be conservative (the “Lancet” paper estimates 18 million).

This year, the number of deaths due to Omicron in the United States has reached 180,000. This year has not yet passed half, and the strains of the Omicron family are constantly mutating in the direction of becoming more and more evasive to vaccines. , it is difficult to say whether the excess deaths in the United States will be higher by the end of this year than last year.

In the past three years, will the number of deaths due to the COVID-19 really decrease year by year? Is the COVID-19 getting more and more serious, or is it moving in the direction of “flu”?

If the above U.S. figures already strike you as incredible, India’s excess deaths are even more alarming – India reported 480,000 COVID-19 deaths in 2020 and 2021, but the WHO report shows that The epidemic excess death toll was 4.74 million, about 10 times the official report.

Where did this number come from? The WHO reports that the data needed to calculate “excess mortality” is not being collected and generated because many countries still lack reliable mortality monitoring capacity.

Therefore, WHO and the United Nations convened experts from various countries to form a COVID-19 mortality assessment team, and developed an innovative method – the Subnational Data Model (Subnational Data Model), which can generate mortality rates when data is incomplete or unavailable. estimated value.

“For the few countries without all-cause mortality (ACM), such as Argentina, India, Indonesia and Turkey, we used estimates from subnational data models, which Differences may occur over time.” For India, the COVID-19 Mortality Assessment Team used multiple data sources, citing and analyzing death data from 17 Indian states as thoroughly and accurately as possible.

The statistics for India are so disparate that the WHO’s data immediately triggered a strong reaction from India.

WHO: 15 million people died from the COVID-19 in the past two yearsResponse to the World Health Organization’s release of excess mortality figures published on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare


India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued a statement on the 5th saying that India has always opposed the method used by the WHO to predict excess mortality estimates based on mathematical models, believing that the method lacks validity and robustness.

But despite India’s objections, the WHO has issued estimates of excess deaths without adequately addressing India’s concerns.

WHO: 15 million people died from the COVID-19 in the past two yearsScreenshot of the statement of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India


Several Indian media outlets have published articles questioning the WHO’s “one-size-fits-all” approach.

In response, the WHO responded that the data collection and analysis methods they adopted were not “one size fits all”, but took into account the particularities of different countries, including income levels, reported mortality rates for the COVID-19, and positive test rates.




The Lancet: Over the past two years, the more “flat”, the more excess deaths

Aside from the above data, we return to the original question: why are these excess deaths?

We need to borrow this article from The Lancet in March this year to analyze this.


WHO: 15 million people died from the COVID-19 in the past two years


Let’s take a look directly at how the excess deaths in the countries published in the paper are.

Global distribution of estimated excess mortality from COVID-19 during the cumulative period from 2020 to 2021 Figure taken from the Lancet paper

According to the color distribution in the above figure, the excess death rate is more serious in the area closer to orange, with 84% of excess deaths occurring in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas.

According to the number of excess deaths, the countries with the most deaths from COVID-19 are: India (4.7 million), Russia (1.1 million), Indonesia (1 million), etc.

According to the above chart, we can draw a very clear conclusion: the more stringent control and active epidemic prevention countries in the past two years, the lower the number of excess deaths.

The epidemic trends in South Africa (top) and the United States (bottom), with the number of infections in blue and the number of deaths in red, both show a “rising trend” again
The picture is taken from the official data of the CDC and WHO


At present, under the current wave of the Omicron strain, what kind of strategy is the most appropriate, perhaps only by history to judge, a few years or decades later, when we recall this painful experience, evaluate may be more objective.

Note: The 1918 influenza strain and the H1N1 influenza have been continuously researched in recent years to show that these two viruses are “combined” across eras. The struggle between humans and viruses has been ongoing, and we will publish a detailed analysis tomorrow.









1. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-01245-6
2. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1817436
3. https://www.who.int/news/item/05-05-2022-14.9-million-excess-deaths-were-associated-with-the-covid-19-pandemic-in-2020-and- 2021
4. https://ourworldindata.org/
5. https://edition.cnn.com/2022/05/05/health/covid-excess-mortality-who-data/index.html
6. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02796-3
7. The WHO says the global death toll from the COVID-19 is close to 15 million, and India strongly opposes it. Observer Network.
8. The number of excess deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic is 15 million, and there are 200,000 COVID-19 orphans in the United States. They will not say these data. Dabai talks about current affairs.

WHO: 15 million people died from the COVID-19 in the past two years

(source:internet, reference only)

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