Doctors’ body slams WHO for 'misrepresenting' India’s Covid-19 deaths

OMAG asserted that all excess deaths cannot be attributed to just Covid-19
Last Updated 07 May 2022, 15:28 IST

The Organised Medicine Academic Guild (OMAG), a federation of professional associations of post-graduate doctors, on Friday slammed the World Health Organization (WHO) for its report that claimed Covid-19 might have claimed as many as 47.4 lakh lives in India in 2020 and 2021.

According to the OMAG, the WHO has “grossly erred on several counts” while supposedly tracking the “global excess mortality” due to the pandemic and painting a picture of its full impact on India, its healthcare system and its people.

“The entire world is well aware that despite appointing three committees to reveal the truth on the origin of the SARV-CoV-2 virus, the WHO has been conspicuously silent,” the OMAG remarked in a press statement.

According to OMAG Secretary General Dr Ishwar Gilada and former OMAG President Dr Suneela Garg, the statement of WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus claiming that the “WHO is committed to working with all countries to strengthen their health information systems to generate better data for better decisions and better outcomes” is a sham, and the WHO’s current stand on attributing to India 50 per cent of the excess deaths across the world will be counter-productive.

“During the entire course of the pandemic—or at any point of time including the worst months of April-June 2021—it was never projected that India had handled the pandemic badly, and thus singularly contributing to 50% of global Covid-related deaths,” OMAG asserted in the statement.

The doctors’ body was outraged by the WHO claims and said that it put India in “poor light” by “doubting its reporting and data quality”. “In fact, India did handle the pandemic much better than most powerful countries globally; and praise came in from all over. Not only that, India has also helped several other countries and is still doing so through vaccine supplies,” the OMAG said.

Dr Gilada, who is also an infectious disease and HIV expert, explained that the Worldometer’s data—most respected and accepted numbers—has a different projection. “Of the recorded 516 million cases, India recorded 43 million (8%) and the US recorded 83.5 million (16%) cases,” he said. He also pointed out that of the recorded 6.27 million deaths, India recorded 524,000 deaths (8.4%) and the US recorded 1 million deaths (16%). Case fatality rate remains the same at 1.2 for the world, the US as well as India, he added.

OMAG asserted that all excess deaths cannot be attributed to just Covid-19.

“The WHO has bracketed 20 countries, representing approximately 50% of the global population, accounting for over 80% of the estimated global excess mortality for the two-year period. These countries are Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, UK, Turkey, Ukraine, and the USA. What is the basis that the remaining 50% population accounted for only 20% excess deaths? The WHO report shows 300% additional deaths for Russia, 700% additional deaths in Indonesia, 800% additional deaths in India and 1100% additional deaths for Egypt. This is at best rubbish, irrational, discriminatory and thus is unacceptable," the OMAG said.

(Published 06 May 2022, 13:01 IST)

Follow us on