Mumbai: The top 20 countries with the most COVID-19 cases together have as much population as India, but have 84 times the cases reported and 200 times the deaths in India, said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, on April 28, citing the World Health Organization's (WHO) data. While the claim is true, it fails to mention the fact that these 20 countries have conducted 28 times the tests conducted in India, FactChecker.in analysis reveals.
Claim: “The World Health Organization data shows that the combined population of 20 nations where maximum COVID-19 cases have been found is almost the same as India’s population. Further, these nations have together reported 84 times the number of cases reported in India.”
“In addition, compared to the 20 nations where maximum COVID-19 cases have been reported, India has reported only 1/200 times [0.5%] the number of deaths as the total number of deaths in these 20 countries.”
In addition, compared to the 20 nations where maximum #COVID19 cases have been reported, India has reported only 1/200 times the no. of deaths as the total no. of deaths in these 20 countries - @MoHFW_INDIA https://t.co/CQWuvYZ3gx #IndiaFightsCorona https://t.co/eNjUUGlXdj— PIB India #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIB_India) April 28, 2020
Fact: Partly true. The population of just one of these 20 countries, China, is more than that of India. So, on that count, Agarwal’s contention is incorrect.
Further, the combined population of the top 20 countries--excluding China--that report the most COVID-19 cases, is 1.35 billion, as much as that of India, according to data from the WHO and the World Bank. The figures cited by the government official comparing India with these countries in terms of cases and deaths reported hold true. However, these 20 countries have conducted over 20 million tests by April 28, which is 28 times the number conducted by India (716,733 tests), as per Our World In Data, an initiative by the University of Oxford.
These countries together reported 2,400,663 COVID-19 cases or 86 times those of India (27,892), as on April 27, according to WHO’s situation report. Likewise, these 20 nations reported 181,435 deaths or 208 times the number of India (872).
However, it is important to note that in terms of testing, the United States of America has tested more people than any other country--5 million tests--and also has the highest number of total confirmed cases and COVID-19 deaths in the world, according to the WHO bulletin of April 27.
|COVID-19: Top 20 Countries And India|
|Countries||Confirmed Cases||Deaths||Population (in millions)||Total Testing||Tests Per Million|
|United States of America||931698||47980||326||5793162||17770|
|The United Kingdom||152844||20732||66.4||599339||9026|
|Iran (Islamic Republic)***||90481||5710||81.8||432,329||5285|
Source: Our World In Data, WHO and Indian Council of Medical Research; World Bank; Worldometer
Note: Testing figures as on April 28; *April 23, **April 26, ***April 27
Data for Brazil and Saudi Arabia are from Worldometer and are as of April 30
Indian states and union territories that have more testing centres and are testing more samples are reporting higher numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases, an IndiaSpend analysis of testing and case data from 11 states showed on March 25.
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