From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much
Mains level : Paper 2- Covid-19 mortality data
Over the last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been busy, in an unprecedented effort, to calculate the global death toll from COVID-19.
Revision of Covid-19 death toll by WHO
- Globally from an estimated six million reported deaths, WHO now estimates these deaths to be closer to almost triple the number.
- The new estimates also take into account formerly uncounted deaths, but also deaths resulting from the impact of COVID-19.
- For example, millions who could not access care, i.e., diagnosis or treatment due to COVID-19 restrictions or from COVID-19 cases overwhelming health services.
- India’s stand: India is in serious disagreement with the WHO-prepared COVID-19 mortality estimates.
- The argument being made by India’s health establishment through a public clarification is that this is an overestimation, and the methodology employed is incorrect.
India’s Covid response
- India’s COVID-19 response has been replete with delays and denials.
- For instance, for the longest time that India’s COVID-19 number rose, the health establishment continued to insist that community transmission was not under way.
- It took months and several lakh cases before they agreed that COVID-19 was finally in community transmission.
- The devastation of the second wave showed how unprepared we were to combat the deadly Delta variant.
- By the time the wave subsided, India’s population was devastated, and helpless, seeing dignity neither in disease nor in death.
The figures ratchet up not only issues of administrative but also moral accountability for governments that they have been previously side stepped.