The Union Health Ministry has rebuffed claims regarding COVID death toll in the country reported in an international media terming it to be baseless. The Ministry has said that the unsound analysis of the speculative article is based on extrapolation of data without any epidemiological evidence. It added that the studies which are used by the magazine as an estimate of excess mortality are not validated tools for determining mortality rate of any country or region. The Health Ministry said, Centre has been transparent in its approach to COVID data management and Guidelines for appropriate recording of COVID-19 related deaths issued in May last year are being rigorously followed. It added that the need for a robust death reporting mechanism has always been emphasised for monitoring district-wise cases and deaths on a daily basis.