ADB Puts COVID-19 Deaths in Pakistan Almost 20 Times Higher Than Official Figures

The COVID-19 deaths in Pakistan are estimated at 664,000, around 20 times the official figures, says the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Bank in its latest report “What has COVID-19 taught us about Asia’s health emergency preparedness and response?”, stated that there is disagreement over data related to COVID-19 mortality.

Actual COVID-19-related deaths appear to be more than double official reports. Cumulative excess mortality, the difference between predicted and officially reported deaths, was estimated at multiples of the official COVID-19 death figures. It is estimated at 736,000 in Indonesia, around 5 times the official death figures, and 664,000 in Pakistan, around 20 times the official figures.

The Bank stated that undercounting appears more prominent in low-income economies, implying it is related to limited testing capacity and low public trust in health facilities (Malik 2024). There is also evidence of data manipulation. Given the inaccuracies, understanding how policies may or may not have succeeded in controlling COVID-19 is difficult.

The report noted that the psychological well-being (PWB) trend during 2019–2022 was heterogenous in Asia. By leveraging Google’s high frequency search data on depressive symptoms, provide insights into the changes in PWB from the search intensity of depressive symptoms.

Of 34 Asian economies in the sample, eight—Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka—had significant PWB losses during the early pandemic stage, while others saw a relatively mild decline.

For these eight countries, the data show that peaks of government non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) stringency and COVID-19 severity occurred at the different stages of the pandemic. The severity of government restrictions occurred early in the pandemic and gradually decreased over time. However, the health risk of COVID-19 (measured by deaths per million people) was highest in mid-2021, when the delta variant quickly became dominant in many economies.

The report also noted that health infrastructure across Asia and the Pacific varies widely. Prior to COVID-19, there were an average 0.29 hospitals per 10,000 population, 0.22 clinics per 10,000 population, and 0.05 labs per 100,000 population. ICU bed utilization also differed substantially, with Bangladesh and Pakistan unable to meet demand, the report added.

  • they included all died from accident, from heart attack, from breath problem, from liver desease etc all are added as died from COVID-19

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