The official coronavirus death toll
is widely believed to be significantly undercounted, but by how much is unknown; according to a New York
Times analysis, the true number of deaths could be over 1 million, if not higher.
has killed approximately 310,000 people
in the country of 1.4 billion people, according to official figures.
However, due to testing limitations in India, many people have died without ever receiving a coronavirus test, and their deaths are unlikely to be counted in official totals.
According to The New York Times’ most conservative estimate, India’s true death toll is closer to 600,000, or double the official figure; a “more likely” scenario puts the true number of dead at 1.6 million; and an even worse-case scenario puts the true number of Indian coronavirus victims at 4.2 million.
On the estimates, the paper claims to have consulted with over a dozen experts.
In comparison, in a population of about 332 million, the United States
has recorded approximately 590,000 deaths from the virus, which is also suspected to be an undercount.
The World Health Organization
said on Friday that the true global death toll from the virus could be two to three times higher than previously reported, putting the figure somewhere between 6 million and 10 million.
According to reports from India, the country is still largely overwhelmed by the virus and struggling to secure enough vaccine
supply for all of its residents, some of whom lack the resources to make online appointments. So far, only about 3% of India's population has been vaccinated, as the rollout has disadvantaged the country's poorest residents.
Hundreds of bodies began to surface along the Ganges river earlier this month, with at least some of them suspected to be coronavirus victims whose families were forced to take extreme measures due to skyrocketing cremation costs.
Just last week, India set a new record for the most daily coronavirus deaths, reporting 4,529 deaths in a 24-hour period.
However, there appears to be some good news
on the horizon: the number of reported cases appears to be leveling off.