WHO raises global COVID-19 deaths to 20 million

NO FEWER than 20 million people have died of COVID-19 worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

The Director-General of the agency, Tedros Ghebreyesus, a doctor, said on Friday, May 5, that the tolls logged by countries and presented to the agency were much lower than the WHO’s estimates.

“COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. Almost seven million deaths have been reported to WHO. But we know the toll is several times higher, at least 20 million,” Ghebreyesus said in a video by the AFP.

On May 2, The ICIR reported the WHO as saying global health systems had started improving three years after the pandemic surfaced.

The ICIR reports that COVID-19 cases as of 16:00hours (GMT) on Friday, May 5, stood at nearly 700 million (687,600,968), according to Worldometer, a platform collating global data on the disease.

Worldometer and WHO puts the number of deaths from the pandemic at May 5 as nearly seven million. However, the figures vary, with WHO having 6,921,614 and the latter having 6,869,839.

Nigeria recorded 266,675 confirmed cases of the disease and lost 3,155 data from Worldometer, and WHO shows. 

WHO said in a report on Tuesday, May 2, that services such as sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health, nutrition, and immunisation, as well as treatment of infectious diseases, neglected tropical diseases, and non-communicable diseases, among others, had recorded improvements in hospitals.

Most countries also apply what they learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, including institutionalising innovative service disruption mitigation strategies into their routine health service delivery, according to WHO.

Nigeria is among nations whose health systems benefitted from the pandemic because of huge investments in health infrastructures largely by the private sector and an increase in the national budget for health.

In a series of reports, The ICIR verified the procurement of multi-billion naira equipment in federal hospitals in 2022 and reported how they boosted service delivery.

Globally, between 2020 and mid-2022, the virus battered economies, resulting in near hyperinflation in countries.

An unprecedented pandemic in a century, COVID-19 denied many people their livelihoods, disrupted health systems, and severed millions of people’s access to basic healthcare.

The world appears to have contained the pandemic with the help of vaccines and other pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions.

Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's the ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022. Contact him via email @ mfatunmole@icirnigeria.org.

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