ICMR questions WHO’s inflated COVID-19 mortality estimates for India

The Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Dr Balram Bhargava on Saturday questioned WHO’s excess covid mortality estimates for India.

Talking to the media, Dr. Bhargava said, when COVID deaths were occurring, no one had the definition of deaths and even WHO did not have one.

He said, defined that ICMR analyzed all the data and came to the conclusion that 95 percent of the deaths that occurred after testing positive for COVID-19 were occurring in the first 4 weeks. So, a cut-off of 30 days was laid for the definition of death.

The ICMR DG said, if one gets positive today and dies after two weeks, that can be labeled as COVID death, but if someone dies after two months or six months – can it be called COVID death?

Dr. Bhargava said, we have such large amounts of data. The data of more than 97 to 98 percent of 1.3 billion who have been vaccinated with the first dose and nearly 190 crores vaccine doses have been used. So, all that is systematically collected. Once we have this systematic data, we do not need to rely on modeling, extrapolations and taking press reports and utilizing them for putting into a modeling exercise.

The Centre has strongly objected to the use of mathematical models by WHO for projecting excess mortality estimates concerning coronavirus and has said that authentic data is available. Referring to the excess mortality estimates of WHO, the Health Ministry said in a statement that the validity and robustness of the models used and methodology of data collection are highly questionable.

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