Official coronavirus death toll likely an ‘underestimate’ of the true total: WHO

The official death toll of the coronavirus pandemic is likely lower than the true total, the World Health Organization said, as reported global deaths approach 1 million

Covid-19 has killed at least 998,867 people worldwide as of Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. has the largest death toll in the world, with at least 204,825 deaths, Hopkins data shows. That’s followed by Brazil with 141,741 deaths and India with 95,542, according to Johns Hopkins data.

But Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said the reported numbers likely represent an “underestimate” of those individuals who have either contracted Covid-19 or died as a cause of it.

A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in July found the number of U.S. deaths due to the coronavirus could be undercounted by as much as 28%.

Using National Center for Health Statistics data, researchers at Yale University compared the number of excess U.S. deaths with the reported number of weekly U.S. Covid-19 deaths.