The World Health Organisation estimates that 15 million people worldwide have now died of coronavirus – or as a result of its impact on health services.
WHO data shows the number of excess COVID mortalities to be somewhere between 13.3 million and 16.6 million people from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2021. This is more than double the official death toll of around six million.
Excess mortality refers to the number of people who have died of the virus either directly or indirectly by being unable to access health services for other conditions.
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The figures were compiled using country-reported data and statistical modelling, WHO said.
Most excess COVID deaths (86%) happened in southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas, according to the figures.
Middle-income countries accounted for 81% of deaths, with 28% occuring in upper-middle-income countries and 4% in low-income ones.