The real coronavirus death toll is at least 130,000 higher than official numbers: BBC

Grave diggers carry a coffin while burying a COVID-19 victim in a cemetery in Kolpino, Russia, May 10, 2020. (AP)

At least 130,000 more people have died from coronavirus than the official toll suggests, according to a BBC study published Thursday.

The official death toll from the COVID-19 is around 440,000. However, there is no unified global method of calculating coronavirus deaths, and governments vary in how they classify deaths as coronavirus.

Read more: Coronavirus: What counts as a death from COVID-19?

One way of measuring is by counting all “excess deaths” – the number of deaths higher than the average that could include both unrecorded COVID-19 deaths and deaths from other causes that were exacerbated by the extra strain put on healthcare systems and other coronavirus-related factors.

According to BBC research based on preliminary data from just 27 countries, there have been at least 130,000 excess deaths since the coronavirus outbreak.

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COVID-19: Country-by-country excess deaths

The BBC broke down the analysis on a country-by-country basis, with slightly different date ranges based on the timing of the outbreak.

The UK had a particularly high number of excess deaths, with a 43 percent increase in deaths during the period March 7 to June 5.

Read more: Coronavirus: UK passes 50,000 deaths

In Italy, the BBC found deaths were 40 percent higher than average, with about 42,900 more people dying than usual, while the US had an increase of 16 percent.

According to official figures, the US has reported the most deaths from coronavirus, followed by Brazil, the UK, and Italy. However, experts have expressed doubts over the official death tolls from many countries including China and Iran.

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Last Update: Thursday, 18 June 2020 KSA 15:28 - GMT 12:28
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