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After India, Pakistan Rejects WHO Report Estimating 2,60,000 Covid Deaths In Nation As ‘Completely Baseless’

New Delhi: After India’s top health experts raised objections to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) methodology, Pakistan has also rejected the WHO report on the number of Covid-19 deaths in the country questioning the United Nations body’s methodology to collect data and supposing an error in the software used to collate the numbers.

Indian health experts on Thursday questioned the modelling methodology used by the WHO to estimate 4.7 million deaths in India due to Covid-19 or its impact.

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In its recent report, the WHO estimated 260,000 Covid-19 deaths in Pakistan, which is eight times the official figure. On the other hand, official records state Pakistan had 30,369 Covid-19 deaths with over 1.5 million infections, reported news agency PTI.

Targeting the global body, Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel told Saama News, “We [authorities] have been gathering data manually on Covid deaths, it could have a difference of a few hundred but it can’t be in hundreds of thousands. This is completely baseless.”

What’s the impact of coronavirus globally?

Going by the report, nearly 15 million people succumbed either to the coronavirus or its impact on overwhelmed health systems in the past two years across the world, more than double the official death count of 6 million. Most of the casualties were reported in Southeast Asia, Europe, and America.

What Is Pakistan’s stance?

Rejecting the world health body’s calculation, Health Minister Abdul Patel said the methodology of data collection is questionable and stressed that authorities in Pakistan collected the figures from hospitals, union councils, and graveyards.

The minister suspected “some error” in the data collection software used by the global body which has been “showing figures in average”, according to the Samaa News report quoted in PTI report.

Responding to the WHO report, the health ministry said a reporting mechanism is in place whereby every Covid-19 related death is reported on a district level, which is then collated at a provincial level by the respective healthcare systems, and finally, a cumulative number is shared on a national level which is reported via official channels.

“The mortality audit carried out by the NCOC (National Command and Control Center) critically looked at the graveyard data of big cities,” the ministry stated.

The ministry noted that the death count in Pakistan is verifiable and accepted globally. It pointed out multiple checks and balances on the reporting systems and the extra deaths reported in graveyards coincide with the Covid-19 waves that hit Pakistan.

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