Around 905,000 Americans may have died from COVID-19, according to a new study that arrived at a substantially higher number than theof 577,000 U.S. deaths. In India, where the gasping for air, the number of deaths may be 654,400, three times the official toll. Worldwide, ; the study says, more than double the reported number. While experts agree that the number of people who have died of COVID-19 is higher than the numbers reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and similar agencies in other countries, it is unclear how much higher the actual toll may be.
Thecome from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, where researchers looked at various existing data sets and studies and used statistical modeling to arrive at their results ― which are being .
IHME Director Dr. Chris Murray said in a video released alongside the report that it marks “a major change” in how his institution thinks about the.
“As terrible as theappears, this analysis shows that the actual toll is significantly worse,” Murray added. “Understanding the true number of COVID-19 deaths not only helps us appreciate the magnitude of this global crisis but also provides valuable information to policymakers developing response and recovery plans.”
IHME projects that nearly 950,000 Americans will have died from COVID-19 by September, and the globalwill top 9.4 million. IHME, a research institute that makes policy recommendations on issues in global health, was founded by the Foundation in 2007.
The institution’s previous model for projectingin the U.S. in the epidemiological community last April, as the pandemic was taking off. Some thought IMHE’s model overestimated potential U.S. deaths: IHME initially die in the U.S. by the time the pandemic tapered off, which experts had hoped it would do by fall 2020.
In its most recent report, IHME researchers included in their estimates deaths believed to be “caused directly by” the coronavirus, “not deaths caused by the pandemic’s disruption to health care systems and communities.”
The researchers cited minimal testing and uneven reporting practices in many high-income countries over the first months of the pandemic as part of the reason they sought to analyze. Other countries, such as Russia and Ecuador, have seen a wide discrepancy between expected and actual death rates, has been incomplete throughout the pandemic.
Russia’s officialtoll sits just above 100,000 people, but IHME researchers believe it is closer to 600,000. Mexico’s official is estimated to be 400,000 under the correct number.
The gap is smaller in the, where the official count is about 150,000 people, but IHME estimates it is around 210,000.
Murray said underreporting has been particularly problematic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Some localities onlyin hospitals or to people with confirmed diagnoses, and the difficulty of accessing health care contributes to inaccurate tallies.
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