New Delhi: India refuted a report claiming its Covid deaths could be “five to seven times” higher than the official number. The government said the assessment was made on the basis of the extrapolation of data without any epidemiological evidence.
The Union Health Ministry, via a statement, also slammed the publication, without naming it. The publication’s report claimed, “India has suffered perhaps five to seven times ‘excess deaths’ than the official number of Covid-19 fatalities.”
The article published by The Economist was termed speculative, without any basis and misinformed by the ministry.
“The unsound analysis of the said article is based on the extrapolation of data without any epidemiological evidence,” the ministry said.
The ministry also tried its best to furnish the reasons to show the studies used by the publication cannot be trusted.
An internet search of research studies in scientific databases such as Pubmed, Research Gate, etc., did not locate this study and its detailed methodology has not been provided by the magazine either, according to the ministry.
“Another evidence given is the study done in Telangana based on insurance claims. Again, there is no peer-reviewed scientific data available on such a study,” the ministry statement said.
“Two other studies relied upon are those done by Psephology groups namely ‘Prashnam’ and ‘C-Voter’ who are well versed in conducting, predicting and analyzing poll results. They were never ever associated with public health research. Even in their own area of work of psephology, their methodologies for predicting poll results have been wide off the mark many times,” the ministry statement said.