Covid death tolls: Australia leads the world

Covid death tolls: Australia leads the world. By Naomi Grimley.

The WHO believes many countries undercounted the numbers who died from Covid – only 5.4 million were reported. … The measure used by the WHO is called excess deaths — how many more people died than would normally be expected based on mortality in the same area before the pandemic hit.

These calculations also take into account deaths which were not directly because of Covid but instead caused by its knock-on effects, like people being unable to access hospitals for the care they needed. It also accounts for poor record-keeping in some regions, and sparse testing at the start of the crisis.

But the WHO said the majority of the extra 9.5 million deaths seen above the 5.4 million Covid deaths reported were thought to be direct deaths caused by the virus, rather than indirect deaths.




Australia’s excess deaths were lower than normal because (a) we kept covid out by closing borders, and (b) this also kept out new strains of influenza. The flu basically disappeared in Australia for those two years. The R0 of flu is below 1 in Australia, meaning each new strain dies out on its own before long because it is not sufficiently infectious. It’s only the constant influx of new strains from the rest of the world, brought in on aircraft, that causes flu in Australia.

NZ is not included in the excess deaths table, but still would be in the negative too, like Australia. Similarly Taiwan, and maybe Vietnam.