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Covid: deaths 3 times higher than official estimates

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Covid: deaths 3 times higher than official estimates

The number of victims of the pandemic in the world could be three times higher than official estimates: as many as 18.2 million, between January 2020 and December 2021, compared to 5.9 million reported by the authorities. This is indicated by the analysis of a key parameter, the so-called ‘excess mortality’ (i.e. the difference between the overall deaths from any cause and the expected number of deaths based on the historical trend), evaluated in 191 countries around the world including the Italy, which shows a patchy situation with strong differences between Regions. The study, conducted with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is published in The Lancet.

Globally, the excess mortality is equal to 120 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. Twenty-one countries are above the threshold of 300 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants: they are mostly found in the Andean regions of Latin America, Central-Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and Central America.

Several Italian regions also exceed 300: Liguria (339), Lombardy (315), Molise (334) and Piedmont (329). Among the less affected regions there are Sardinia (with an excess of mortality equal to 152 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants), Basilicata (162) and Lazio (169).

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Italy, as a whole, has an excess of mortality equal to 227 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. In the first two years of the pandemic, our country officially reported 137,000 deaths from Covid-19, but there is an excess of mortality equal to 259,000 deaths.

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“Understanding what the real death toll from the pandemic is is crucial for implementing effective public health policies,” said the first author of the study, Haidong Wang, of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (USA). “Studies from several countries, such as Sweden and the Netherlands, suggest that Covid-19 is the direct cause of most excess deaths, but for now we don’t have enough evidence for most of the other locations. they will help us understand how many deaths are directly caused by Covid-19 and how many are an indirect result of the pandemic “, due for example to suicides or lack of access to health care for other diseases.

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by Irma D’Aria

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