The World Health Organization says the COVID-19 pandemic directly or indirectly caused 14.9 million deaths worldwide from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021.
The number is called excess mortality and represents the number of people who died versus the number that probably would have died without the pandemic.
“These sobering data not only point to the impact of the pandemic but also to the need for all countries to invest in more resilient health systems that can sustain essential health services during crises, including stronger health information systems,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general said in a press release.
“WHO is committed to working with all countries to strengthen their health information systems to generate better data for better decisions and better outcomes.”
WHO said 84% of the deaths were “concentrated in South-East Asia, Europe, and the Americas.”
The death toll for men was higher than for women by 57% to 43% WHO said. It was also higher for older people, it added.