The COVID-19 pandemic killed 13.3 to 16.6 million people in 2020 and 2021, the WHO estimated Thursday – up to triple the number of deaths attributed directly to the disease. The AFP news agency reports that the World Health Organization’s long-awaited estimate of the total number of deaths caused by the pandemic, including lives lost to its knock-on effects, finally puts a number on the broader impact of the crisis. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “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”.
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