Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Indian health workers wearing personal protective equipment are seen closing the body of a Covid-19 victim, who died at home during self-isolation. Photo: Agung Fatma Putra/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The total number of excess deaths in India during the pandemic is likely more than than 3 million and could be as high as 4.9 million, according to a study released Tuesday.

Why it matters: The number is almost 10 times the country's official death toll, making it "arguably India’s worst human tragedy," said the research team, who includes a former chief economic adviser to the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

By the numbers: India has reported 31,174,322 virus cases and 414,482 confirmed deaths, data from Johns Hopkins University shows.

  • But the the study estimated there were between 3.4 and 4.9 excess deaths in India from January 2020 through June 2021.
  • The study's authors did not attribute all excess deaths to the coronavirus, however, saying the research focused on "'all-cause mortality, and estimate excess mortality relative to a pre-pandemic baseline, adjusting for seasonality."

What they're saying: "True deaths are likely to be in the several millions not hundreds of thousands, making this arguably India’s worst human tragedy since partition and independence," the researchers wrote.

  • "Estimating COVID-deaths with statistical confidence may prove elusive. But all estimates suggest that the death toll from the pandemic is likely to be an order of magnitude greater than the official count of 400,000; they also suggest that the first wave was more lethal than is believed," they added.
  • The first wave may have been more lethal because "it was spread out in time and space, unlike the sudden and concentrated surge of the second wave, mortality in the first wave appeared moderate," the researchers also said.

The big picture: India has struggled to contain the coronavirus, seeing a surge of new infections in April and May, driven mostly by the more transmissible Delta variant.

  • The high case load has overwhelmed an already stretched health system.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Benefits of J&J COVID-19 vaccine outweigh risks, per CDC data — Why vaccinated America can't turn its back on unvaccinated America.
  2. Health: A reality check on the GOP's push for coronavirus antibody testing — NYC to require COVID vaccination or weekly testing for city workers — Over 50 medical groups call for mandatory vaccinations for health care workers — Savannah reimposes indoor mask mandate.
  3. Politics: Biden: Americans with long-COVID symptoms may qualify for disability resources — Prominent Republicans find new enthusiasm for COVID-19 vaccines — GOP Rep. Clay Higgins says he has COVID for second time.
  4. Sports: Golfer Bryson DeChambeau will miss Olympics after testing positive for COVID— NFL raises vaccine pressure
  5. World: Israel to require vaccine certificates to attend social events.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jul 19, 2021 - World

Vaccine boosters in rich countries risk longer wait in poorer nations

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The rapid spread of the Delta variant around the rich world has injected increased urgency into the debate around booster shots, but the World Health Organization and public health experts are trying to keep the focus on getting vaccines to those who don’t yet have access.

Why it matters: Israel last week became the first country to offer boosters to people with weak immune systems, and Pfizer is pushing for rapid approval of boosters in the U.S., citing preliminary data that suggests immunity may begin to wane after six months.

Jul 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Federal judge upholds Indiana University's vaccine mandate

A vaccination center at UNLV in Las Vegas. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday gave colleges their first major win in the battle to require that students be vaccinated.

Why it matters: Many students and parents consider these mandates essential to safely returning to campus. 586 colleges nationwide have some form of vaccine mandate, per The Chronicle of Higher Education.