WHO: Nearly 15M deaths associated with COVID-19

<p>FILE - A worker in a protective suit swabs a man's throat for a COVID-19 test at a testing site in an office complex in Beijing, Friday, April 29, 2022. </p>

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File

FILE - A worker in a protective suit swabs a man's throat for a COVID-19 test at a testing site in an office complex in Beijing, Friday, April 29, 2022. 

LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization is estimating that nearly 15 million people were killed either by the coronavirus or by its impact on overwhelmed health systems in the past two years, more than double the official death toll of 6 million. Most of the fatalities were in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas.

In a report released on Thursday, the U.N. agency’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the figure as “sobering,” saying it should prompt countries to invest more in their capacities to quell future health emergencies.

Scientists tasked by WHO with calculating the actual number of COVID-19 deaths between January 2020 and the end of last year estimated there were between 13.3 million and 16.6 million deaths that were either caused directly by the coronavirus or were somehow attributed to the pandemic’s impact on health systems, like people with cancer unable to seek treatment when hospitals were full of COVID patients.

The figures are based on country-reported data and statistical modelling. WHO did not immediately break down the figures to distinguish between direct deaths from COVID-19 and others caused by the pandemic. Full story here:

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VIRUS BY THE NUMBERS