What is the pandemic’s true death toll?


Officially, Covid-19 has killed over 4 million people. But it is undercounted and the actual toll is something around 15 to 18 million, writes The Economist in its latest exclusive report on the pandemic.

Officially, covid-19 has killed around 4.5m people. But according to our own model, that is a dramatic undercount: we estimate that the actual death toll is 15.2m people, and maybe as high as 18.1m.
Last year, covid-19 in effect shut down the world’s economy. People stopped travelling and going to restaurants and concerts; they did not need to update their wardrobes or buy much other than Netflix subscriptions and groceries. The Delta variant is different: it saps growth less dramatically but has fired up inflation.
The virus has battered economies and pushed some countries to the verge of near to a famine situation in parts of Africa.

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