New Delhi: India has not only rejected the WHO claims on Covid deaths in the country, but it is likely to raise the issue at the World Health Assembly and other multilateral forums.
Sources in the Union Health Ministry said the three-day conference of the (state Health Ministers) CCHFW, an apex advisory body of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has strongly objected to the
use of mathematical models by the WHO for projecting excess mortality estimates linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
India has been consistently objecting to the methodology adopted by the WHO to project excess mortality estimates based on mathematical models, the ministry said in a statement.
“Despite India’s objection to the process, methodology and outcome of this modelling exercise, WHO has released the excess mortality estimates without adequately addressing India’s concerns,” it said.
India had also informed the WHO that given the availability of authentic data published through the Civil Registration System (CRS) by the Registrar General of India (RGI), mathematical models should not be used to project excess mortality numbers in India.
“India firmly believes that such robust and accurate data generated through the Legal Framework of a Member State must be respected, accepted and used by WHO rather than relying on less than accurate
mathematical projection based on non-official sources of data,” the statement has said.
“You may apply that where the systems are poor. But to apply assumptions based on a subset of states, based on reports that come from the websites and media reports, and then you come out with an
exorbitant number is not tenable. We are disappointed by what WHO has done,” said Dr VK Paul, a member of NITI Aayog.
AIIMS Director R Guleria also endorsed Dr Paul’s views and said, “Even if there were excessive deaths that were COVID related, they would have been recorded because people would have come forward, their relatives would have come forward for compensation. This has not
been the case as far as the numbers that WHO is predicting.”
“India records its deaths through a transparent and legal process. All the states and union territories provided correct and authentic data to the registry,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Saturday (May 7).
The WHO report claimed there were 4.7 million Covid deaths in India — 10 times the official figures and almost a third of Covid deaths globally.