India questions WHO’s methodology: “Can’t be used to estimate mortalities of…”; Says the Health Ministry of India
New Delhi: India questions WHO’s methodology adopted to calculate the Covid-19 deaths and says that different yardsticks have been applied for different set of countries to calculate mortality during the pandemic.
The Health Ministry said, “India’s main objection has not been with the results (whatever they might have been) but with the methodology adopted by WHO for the same.”
The ministry highlights that India has been in a frequent and in-depth technical exchange with World Health Organization on the issue.
If the model adopted is accurate and reliable, ” It should be authenticated by running it for all tier I countries and if the result of such exercise may be shared with all Members States.”, says the Health Ministry.
The statement by the ministry was in comeback to the New York Times article named “India is stalling WHO’s efforts to make Global Covid Death Toll Public” dated April 16.
According to the report, the UN Health Agency has figured a total of about 15 million deaths due to the virus by the end of 2021 which is more than double the official figures recorded by the nations individually.
The report asserted that the World Health Organization estimate will ascertain India’s death toll is at least 4 million which is 8 times more than the reported official figures.
What is India’s actual concern about WHO methodology
Strongly criticizing the UN body for its methodology, the health and family welfare ministry said that the concern precisely includes on how the statical model projects for a country of geographical size and population like India also fits in for other countries which have small populations.
It said, “Such one-size-fits-all approach and models which are true for smaller countries like Tunisia may not be applicable to India who’s population is 1.3 billion.”
“WHO is yet to share the confidence interval for the present statistical model across various countries.” The ministry said.
According to the Health and Family Welfare Ministry, the WHO analysis uses mortality figures directly procured from a tier I set of countries, while for tier II nations which includes India too, it uses a mathematical modeling process.
In fact, it’s not just India, but this specific riddle has been raised by other WHO member nations like China, Iran, Bangladesh, Syria, Ethiopia, and Egypt regarding this methodology and use of “an Unofficial set of data”, says the ministry.
The ministry said, “It is very surprising that the New York Times purportedly could collect the alleged figure of excess covid mortality in respect to India, it was unable to learn the estimate for other countries.”