THE TRUE global Covid death toll could be more than triple the official figures bringing the total to 15 million, scientists have warned.

Researchers have said the disparity between the data recorded and the actual figures is party because of countries such as Russia, India and China undercounting the number of Covid-related deaths.

“Although Russia’s official death tally suggests that it has protected its citizens tolerably well, its numbers on total mortality imply that it has in fact been hit quite hard by Covid-19," researchers said.

"Similarly, we estimate that India’s death toll is actually in the millions, rather than the hundreds of thousands."

Many people who die from coronavirus in those populous countries, and in most of South America and Africa, are never tested and so never included in the death tally, the Times reports.

The number of excess deaths across the world has also increased due to people dying from preventable causes because hospitals were full of pandemic victims.

The estimate of 15.2 million excess deaths was created by The Economist, which put total fatalities between 9.3million and 18.1million.

The true number of Covid deaths or the excess deaths/mortality refers to the number of deaths from all causes during a crisis.

"Measured by excess deaths as a share of population, many of the world’s hardest-hit countries are in Latin America," the researchers said.

In Nicaragua, the estimated toll is likely to be 9,000 per cent higher than its official death count which stands at 200.

While Haiti is predicted to be 2,200 per cent higher and Venezuela 1,100 per cent higher.

In the table, published by The Economist, China was placed in ninth place of 42 countries with having 4,636 recorded deaths – it's likely to have between 130,000 and 1.5million.

Four of the top five countries for under-reported deaths were in the continent of Africa – with Tanzania at number one.

The East African country has officially recorded only 50 deaths while researchers estimate that between 15,000 and 67,000 Tanzanians have died.

The data also suggested that Burundi had 17,962 more deaths than what was officially recorded.

At the bottom of the table was the UK which had fewer people than expected to die during the pandemic based on more recent trends.

Researchers concluded that: "Covid-19 claimed relatively few victims, while lifestyle changes lowered the toll from other causes such as flu."

The country that stood out the most was New Zealand which had a drop of 9,000 excess deaths.

Last Monday, the world passed the grim threshold of 4.5million Covid-19 deaths as the Delta variant wreaks havoc across the globe.

Since the outbreak began in China in December 2019, the virus has now killed a total of 4,570,610 people.

On average there are 10,000 deaths reported each day in the world – a figure much lower than in January where an average of 14,800 people died from the virus.

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