Number of unregistered COVID-19 fatalities by 2021 worldwide stands at 1.2mln: WHO

Moscow, May 21 (Bureau) The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday said that the official global coronavirus mortality rate, registered to the end of 2020 was short of 1.2 million cases of fatalities, addressing the issue of large-scale data gaps. “As of 31 December 2020, preliminary estimates suggest the total number of global deaths attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 is at least 3 million, representing 1.2 million more deaths than the 1.8 million officially reported,” the WHO assessed in the annual World Health Statistics report.

It also noted that the current 3.4 million fatalities from the coronavirus worldwide, reported to the organization are likely to be majorly under counted, while the true COVID-19 mortality rate is “at least 2-3 times higher.” According to the statement, the WHO cooperates with all stockholders to ensure the reported data on coronavirus deaths is accurate and will estimate the excess mortality both on global and regional levels later in 2021. Besides, the statement read that the pandemic challenged the UN-set 17 Sustainable Development Goals, dating back to 2015 and designed to provide “peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future” through global partnership.

In addition, the epidemic also challenges the so-called Triple Billion targets, established by the WHO “to improve the health of billions of people by 2023.” The world’s most vulnerable nations, including overpopulated ones, are particularly exposed to COVID-19 risks. “Lack of data disaggregation contributes to unequal health outcomes, with only 51% of countries including disaggregated data in national statistical reports,” the WHO explained. The report also touched upon such issues as global life expectancy, which increased from 66.8 years in 2000 to 73.3 years in 2019, global tobacco use, whose rate dropped by 335 since 2000, and adult obesity, which was found in up to a quarter of populations in high-income countries” in 2016. In 2019, seven out of 10 causes of death worldwide were attributed to non-communicable diseases, the WHO report showed.