The number of deaths recorded in India due to Covid-19 is highest among all the countries falling under the lower-middle-income classification as per a study by World Bank’s analyst – Philip Schellekens.
According to the World Bank income classification, India falls under the lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) category. Schellekens’ analysis states that the excess mortality rate for the LMICs was 12 times more than what Covid-19 mortality rate data proclaimed. And India leads in excess deaths among the LMICs category.
How is the number of excess deaths measured?
Excess deaths measure the difference between observed and expected deaths throughout of the pandemic. In a blog written by Schellekens, calculating excess deaths is based on a “gradient-boosting machine-learning algorithm which fills data gaps on the basis of 121 predictive indicators that are comprehensively available. With this method, global excess deaths are estimated at 7 million to 13 million, with 10 million as the midpoint”.
Schellekens, a senior economic advisor – IFC (World Bank Group), in his blog written in May stated that while earlier in the pandemic, high-income group countries witnessed higher mortality rates. However, the shift was evident later on, as more and more excess deaths were reported from the LMICs.
The largely younger population of India was not contracted with Covid during the first wave. However, the second wave witnessed a sharp increase among the young and the old getting down with the disease, and that – as per Schellekens, could have accounted for more deaths.