The study does not include deaths related to the omicron variant of COVID-19, which would likely increase the number of children who have lost a parent to the virus.
Of the parents who died of COVID-19, about 77 percent of them were fathers or male guardians, compared with about 23 percent of mothers or female caregivers who lost, the study reports.
Estimates were obtained by collecting data on COVID-19 mortality from 21 countries – including the United States, Brazil, England, Russia, Mexico, France, Italy, Kenya and more – representing 76 percent of coronavirus deaths, according to researchers to “model global minimum estimates of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death.”
Grandparents were included as caregivers in the study as the researchers recognized the central role that grandparents play in children’s lives, especially in low-income environments. Children living in households that include extended family members, including grandparents, are about 40 percent worldwide and nearly 50 percent in the Asia-Pacific, the study notes.
The researchers’ estimates for children who lost a primary caregiver or parent specifically between March 1, 2020 and October 31, 2021 (before omicron) were 3,550,000, excluding grandparents and secondary caregivers.
When secondary caregivers and grandparents were included, the total number increased by 1,650,300, to a total of 5,200,300 orphans as a minimum estimate between these months.
About 150,000 children are predicted to have lost a parent to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic until October 2021 in the United States, while 192,500 children in Mexico are predicted to have lost a parent within that time frame, and 1,917,100 children lost a parent in it. time window in India.