It was in late 2019 that the first case of Covid was reported in Wuhan, China. The infectious disease soon spread like a wildfire and emerged as a global pandemic. According to the latest statistics, the pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 4.7 million people worldwide. And now, a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford's Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science has suggested that the coronavirus pandemic has cut life expectancy in 2020 by the most since World War II.
Life expectancy reduced drastically
During the study, researchers analyzed data from 29 countries to determine whether the Covid pandemic has impacted the average life expectancy. Researchers revealed that life expectancy has been reduced in 27 of the 29 countries involved in this research.
In 22 out of the 29 countries, which included the United States, Chile, and nations from the European region, life expectancy has been reduced in 2020 by six months when compared to 2019. It should be also noted that women in 15 countries and men in 10 countries were found to have a lower birth expectancy in 2020 than in 2015.
"For Western European countries such as Spain, England and Wales, Italy, Belgium, among others, the last time such large magnitudes of declines in life expectancy at birth were observed in a single year was during World War II," said Dr José Manuel Aburto, the co-author of the study.
Covid caused a devastating shock for many countries
Dr Ridhi Kashyap, who is the co-lead author of the study said that the Covid pandemic their research, "highlight such a large impact that is directly attributable to Covid-19 shows how devastating a shock it has been for many countries."
Researchers, in their study report, also noted that males experienced greater declines in life expectancy when compared to females in almost all 29 nations. Males in the United States had a decline in life expectancy by 2.2 years when compared to 2019. Ridhi Kashyap also talked about the vitality of analyzing the data from other countries to understand the complete impact of the Covid pandemic on life expectancy.
"We urgently call for the publication and availability of more disaggregated data from a wider range of countries, including low- and middle-income countries, to better understand the impacts of the pandemic globally," added Ridhi Kashyap.