WHO estimate: more than 13 million deaths from the pandemic

Status: 05/05/2022 3:43 p.m.

The pandemic has caused between 13.3 and 16.6 million deaths worldwide in 2020 and 2021, according to estimates by the World Health Organization. Not all died of Covid-19.

According to an estimate by the World Health Organization (WHO), between 13.3 and 16.6 million people worldwide died in connection with the corona pandemic during the period from January 1, 2020 to December 31. 2021.

The WHO bases its new estimate on so-called excess mortality, which compares the number of deaths recorded in a year with the average mortality of previous years.

Many deaths due to an overburdened health system

The estimate includes both corona-infected deceased and people with other illnesses or injuries that could not be treated in time due to overloaded healthcare systems.

According to reports from WHO member countries, the number of people who have died from and with Corona is currently slightly over 6.2 million worldwide. According to WHO estimates, around seven to ten million deaths are attributable to the weakening of the health system.

More men than women died

According to the WHO, most deaths (84%) occur in countries in Southeast Asia, Europe and America. In addition, according to WHO information, about 57% more men than women (43%) died during the estimate period.

WHO experts have taken into account that a number of deaths have been avoided thanks to the corona restrictions. This includes, for example, fewer traffic and workplace accidents as more people worked from home and curfews were imposed in many places.

Estimates from other institutes had already shown similar numbers of excess mortality from the coronavirus pandemic in the past – such as those from the US Institute for Health Metrics (IHME) in Seattle. At the end of 2021, the institute assumed 15.4 million deaths. It provides daily estimates.

More investment in health

To defuse the situation in the future, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for more investment in health care. This is especially necessary so that future life-saving treatments in times of crisis like a pandemic do not have to be postponed. WHO will work with all countries.

The WHO chief recently warned on Twitter not to underestimate the corona virus. The downward trend in crown counts is welcome – but also due to less testing and sequencing. This renders “blind to how the virus mutates”.

In January 2020, the WHO declared an international health emergency due to the spread of the corona virus.

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