The official count of covid-19 deaths from the Indian government currently (2 September 2021) stands at about 440 thousand, a rate of about 315 per million people (see Our World in Data).
This is a much lower death rate than many Western countries where the reported deaths are often between 1,000 and 2,000 per million (UK, USA and several European countries are approaching 2,000 with most others seeing at least 1,000 deaths per million.
And some Indian data has been used to illustrate the benefits of ivermectin. So knowing whether the data is reliable might be useful to other countries.
But there have been longstanding doubts about the reliability of the official numbers from India. Recently, several studies have tried to estimate excess deaths in India as a way of estimating covid-19 deaths without having to rely on the official statistics.
And a recent comparison (July 2021) of different ways to estimate excess mortality concluded this (my highlight):
But all estimates suggest that the death toll from the pandemic is likely to be an order of magnitude greater than the official count of 400,000; they also suggest that the first wave was more lethal than is believed.
These estimates suggest total deaths of perhaps 4 million giving a death rate per million of over 3,000 per million, higher than the USA or the UK and possibly doubling the estimated total deaths worldwide.
Is it plausible that India's official numbers could be understating covid-19 deaths by a whole order of magnitude?