Pakistan Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel has rejected a World Health Organization (WHO) report raising questions on the country’s Covid-19 death toll estimated to be eight times higher that what is reported.
He said the government knew about the WHO report claiming 260,000 people died of Covid in Pakistan but as per the official figures the death toll stands between 30,000 to 31,000, reports Samaa TV.
Going by WHO estimates, almost three times as many people have died around the world as a result of Covid-19
“Coronavirus pandemic killed around 15 million people worldwide in 2020 and 2021, nearly triple the number of deaths officially attributed to the disease,” the report stated.
“In Pakistan, the figure was eight times as high.”
Pakistan, on the other hand, has reported only 30,369 Covid-19 deaths with more than 1.5 million infections.
“We (authorities) have been gathering data manually on Covid deaths, it could have a difference of a few hundred but it can’t be in hundreds of thousands,” Samaa TV quoted the Minister as saying.
“This is completely baseless,” he added.
Patel said the government has explained the calculation process with its denying note to WHO and it would continue to engage with the world health body.
He further said the methodology of data collection is questionable, adding that authorities in Pakistan collected the figures from hospitals, union councils, and graveyards.
He suspected “some error” in the data collection software used by WHO which has been “showing figures in average”.