The Covid-19 pandemic has caused excess deaths in India to cross more than four million, a new study has found.
Excess deaths are a measure of how many more people are dying than would be expected compared to the previous few years.
Although it is difficult to say how many of these deaths have been caused by Covid-19, they are a measure of the overall impact of the pandemic.
India has officially recorded more than 414,000 Covid-19 deaths so far.
The country is one of the few major economies without an estimate of excess deaths during the pandemic.
Researchers from the US-based Center for Global Development used three different data sources to estimate India’s excess all-cause mortality during the pandemic until 21 June.
They extrapolated death registrations from seven states, accounting for half of India’s population. India conducts yearly mortality surveys but has only published numbers up to 2019.
Second, the researchers applied international estimates of age-specific infection fatality rates – the number of people that die from the virus – to data from two countrywide antibody tests, also called sero surveys.