Study claiming Covid mortality higher than official tally is speculative and misinformed: Department of Health
The ministry said these forecasts are based on certain sets of inputs based either on real-world scenarios or on approximations of those inputs that are not available. The study considers different methodologies for different countries and for India, for example, the data sources used by this study appear to have been drawn from journal articles and non-peer-reviewed studies. This model uses all-cause excess mortality data, created by another non-peer-reviewed model, as input, which raises serious concerns about the accuracy of the results of this statistical exercise, the Department of Health said in a statement.
“Detailed guidelines for notification of deaths from Covid-19 have been issued by the Union Ministry of Health to all States and UT. On May 10, 2020, the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) issued published “Guidance for Proper Registration of Covid-19 Related Deaths in India”. Death notification is regularly done in a transparent manner and is updated daily in the public domain on the Union Health Ministry website. Even the backlog of Covid-19 mortality data submitted by states at different times is regularly reconciled in Indian government data,” the ministry said.
The ministry also clarified in the statement that there is a financial incentive in India to report Covid-19 deaths as they are entitled to monetary compensation. Therefore, the likelihood of under-reporting is less.