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COVID-19 deaths much higher than official figures, claims report

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People wearing protective face masks leave Piccadilly Circus underground station in central London, Britain.

UK,US: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019, more than 55 million people have lost their lives due to the viral disease, according to official figures. But a new research published in Nature has claimed that the actual toll count could be many times higher.

There has been an ongoing debate about whether countries hide their actual Covid-19 death toll to protect their image on the global platform.

The report published in Nature takes into account a machine learning approach used by The Economist magazine in London. It found some issues with the collection of data and claimed the actual fatalities could be two and four times more than the official COVID-19 data.

The report said that the death toll remained high in rich countries and low in poor countries. But an analysis of the World Mortality Dataset (WMD) of 116 countries said that poorer countries recorded fewer deaths, it further said.

According to data modelling, the actual Covid-19 deaths in wealthy countries may be as high as a third of the current figures. In poor countries, meanwhile, the actual fatalities can be up to 20 times higher than the current figures.

The report said that the WHO may soon release its first assessment regarding the deaths. It has taken the opinion of several experts to conclude that in order to estimate the actual COVID-19 fatalities, the deaths that happened five years before the pandemic will have to be compared with the current period.

The report also stated that COVID-19 pandemic is the largest after the Spanish flu that spread during 1918-20.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, face masks will no longer be mandatory in public places and COVID-19 passports will be dropped for large events as infections level off in most parts of the country, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday.

Johnson told lawmakers that the restrictions were being eased because government scientists think it is likely that the surge of infections prompted by the highly contagious omicron variant “has now peaked nationally.”

Mandatory COVID-19 passes will not be needed to gain entry to large-scale events beginning January 27. Face masks will no longer be legally required anywhere in England as of that day.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration, facing calls from public health experts to distribute high-quality masks to the American public, will announce on Wednesday that it is making 400 million non-surgical N95 masks available, free of charge, at community health centres and retail pharmacies across the US.

The move, which officials are calling the “largest deployment of personal protective equipment in US history,” comes just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its mask guidance to acknowledge that cloth masks do not offer as much protection as surgical masks or respirators. – THE HINDUSTAN TIMES,THE STATESMAN, INDIAN EXPRESS

Friday, January 21, 2022 – 01:00

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