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India objects to WHO's methodology to calculate COVID-19 death toll

NEW DELHI :

India on Saturday questioned the World Health Organisation's (WHO) methodology to estimate the COVID-19 death toll in the country, stating that the same mathematical model cannot be used to estimate the mortalities of a country like India which has a large geographical size and population.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that India has shared its concerns with the methodology along with the other Member States through a series of formal communications including six letters issued to WHO.

“India has shared its concerns with the methodology along with other Member States through a series of formal communications including six letters issued to WHO (on 17th November, 20th December 2021, 28thDecember 2021, 11th January 2022, 12thFebruary 2022 and 2nd March 2022) and virtual meetings held on 16th December 2021, 28th December 2021, 6th January 2022, 25th February 2022 and the SEARO Regional Webinar held on 10th February 2022. During these exchanges, specific queries have been raised by India along with other Member States e.g. China, Iran, Bangladesh, Syria, Ethiopia and Egypt regarding the methodology, and use of unofficial sets of data," Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a response to to New York Times article titled “India Is Stalling the WHO’s Efforts to Make Global Covid Death Toll Public" dated 16 April, 2022

The concern specifically includes on how the statistical model projects estimates for a country of geographical size & population of India and also fits in with other countries which have smaller population. Such one size fit all approach and models which are true for smaller countries like Tunisia may not be applicable to India with a population of 1.3 billion. WHO is yet

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