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WHO: COVID-19 death toll is greater than previously reported. According to new estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), between January 2020 and December 2021, COVID-19 was the direct or indirect cause of about 14.9 million deaths worldwide-9.49 million more than were officially reported. Using multiple sources of data, an expert panel convened by the WHO and the United Nations determined excess mortality rates by comparing the number of people who died during two years of the pandemic with the number who would have been expected to die if the pandemic hadn't occurred. Most excess deaths were due to COVID-19, but many were also due to pandemic-related disruptions in essential health care services. Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Americas (including the United States) accounted for 84% of excess deaths. Globally, the death rate was higher in men (57%) and older adults. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, noted that the high numbers of excess deaths reflect not only the effect of the pandemic but also indicate the "need for all countries to invest in more resilient health systems."