Washington: Canada’s coronavirus death toll may be two times higher than the government’s official tally, the Royal Society of Canada said in a report.
To date, Canadian health officials have reported 26,238 virus-related deaths, although that number may be higher.
“Between February 1 and November 28, 2020, our study finds that the COVID-19 deaths of approximately 6,000 people aged 45 and older living in communities across Canada appear to have gone undetected, unreported or unattributed to COVID-19. This suggests that if Canada has continued to miss these fatalities at the same rate since last November, the pandemic mortality burden may be two times higher than reported,” the report said on Tuesday.
The study’s authors reached their conclusion following analysis of excess death reports and a rise in deaths that occurred at private residences, according to cremation data, the report said.
According to the report, the unaccounted-for deaths likely occurred in low-income and high-density communities.
The report calls for better reporting of data to the state statistics agency, Statistics Canada, conducting COVID-19 tests for all fatalities, adopting the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for estimating excess mortality and establishing a task force charged with monitoring the mortality during the coronavirus pandemic.