Why India’s low coronavirus death rate has experts worried

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The country of 1.3 billion people has the second-highest number of cases globally (more than 4.4 million), and the third highest number of deaths (over 75,000), according to Johns Hopkins University — and the outbreak shows no sign of abating.But India’s reported mortality rate — calculated by the number of deaths per 100 confirmed cases — is surprisingly low compared to other countries with high infection rates.
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India’s Covid-19 mortality rate stands at 1.7%. For context, the same rate is about 3% in the US, 11.7% in the UK, and 12.6% in Italy, according to Johns Hopkins University.The Indian government claims India’s lower death rate is a sign of its success in handling the crisis, and has used the figure to support its decision to lift some coronavirus restrictions.”The average fatality rate in the country is … continuously going down,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a press release in August. “The target of bringing down the fatality rate below 1% can be achieved soon.”But some scientists in India warn that the numbers are incomplete and misleading — and that relying on them to reopen the country could make matters worse. How bad is Covid-19 in India?Though the number of reported cases had been steadily …

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