Covid-19 slashed life expectancy by most since World War II: Oxford study
The coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic reduced life expectancy last year by the largest amount since World War II, news agency Reuters reported citing a study by Oxford University. The study showed that life expectancy dropped by more than six months compared with 2019 in 22 countries and reductions in life expectancy were seen in 27 countries out of the 29, including the United States, Europe and Chile. According to data by worldometers.com, 4,761,895 people have succumbed to Covid-19 till now across the world and the US continues to top the death toll at 706,317, followed by Brazil and India.
The study revealed that there was a greater reduction in life expectancy for men than women in the majority of the countries. The largest reduction was seen in men from the United States, who saw life expectancy drop by 2.2 years relative to 2019. "The fact that our results highlight such a large impact that is directly attributable to Covid-19 shows how devastating a shock it has been for many countries," said Dr Ridhi Kashyap, co-lead author of the paper, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. Dr Kashyap appealed to more countries, including those in the bracket of low and middle income
In the US, the surge in mortality was largely seen in people of working age and those below 60 years. On the other hand, deaths due to Covid-19 among people over 60 years contributed more significantly towards the increase in mortality, the Oxford University study also showed.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) is seeking to revive its probe into the origins of the coronavirus disease, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. A team of 20 scientists is being formed to carry out the investigation. The revival comes after an initial inquiry by the United Nations (UN) body found out that the data provided by Chinese scientists is insufficient to answer important queries about Covid-19 origin.
(With Reuters inputs)