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COVID killed one out of every 500 people, WHO report shows

Thomas Mulier and Clara Hernanz Lizarraga

The COVID-19 death toll probably climbed to almost 15 million in its first two years -- about one out of every 500 people globally -- according to a new World Health Organization estimate.

The figure, far higher than the official numbers for 2020 and 2021, includes deaths directly due to COVID infection and those indirectly caused by pandemic disruptions, the Geneva-based health agency said Thursday. The WHO's new estimate is more than twice the figures from individual governments' reports showing about 6.2 million COVID deaths.