SBS Punjabi

True toll likely much higher as world passes six million deaths with COVID-19

SBS Punjabi

Patients at a temporary holding area outside Caritas Medical Centre in Hong Kong

Source: AAP


Published 10 March 2022 at 8:30am
By Brooke Young, Ravdeep Singh
Presented by Harleen Kaur
Source: SBS

The official global death toll from COVID-19, compiled by Johns Hopkins University, has reached six million. But experts fear the true number of virus fatalities may be far higher than the official count.


Published 10 March 2022 at 8:30am
By Brooke Young, Ravdeep Singh
Presented by Harleen Kaur
Source: SBS


It took the world seven months to record its first million virus-related deaths after the pandemic emerged in early 2020. Four months later another million people had died, and another one million have died every three months since, until the death toll hit five million at the end of October.

But Tikki Pang, Visiting Professor of Global Health from the National University of Singapore, fears the true fatality figures are far higher.

"If you set aside the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths, 6 million, the actual excess mortality is something like 21 million.  And as you already mentioned yourself, that takes into account undiagnosed deaths, deaths that happen at home, undercounting, under-reporting because of lack of testing, and that's all happening in the developing countries."

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With many countries re-building their economies as their fatality rates fall, this milestone is the latest reminder of the unrelenting, and often unpredictable nature of the virus.

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