Health Ministry attributes spike in COVID-19 deaths to some states finally sending correct death reports

5 May, 2020 | Priyanka Sharma

Coronavirus India update National

The total number of coronavirus cases in India has reached 46,711, including 31,967 active cases, 1,583 deaths and 13,161 cured/discharged/migrated. The Health ministry on Monday reported a spike i...

In its latest bulletin related to novel coronavirus- COVID-19 situation in India on Tuesday, the Union Health Ministry said that the total number of coronavirus positive cases has now reached 46, 433. About 3,900 new cases, 195 deaths and 1,020 recoveries have been reported in last 24 hours and the recovery rate is now at 27.41%. The health ministry emphasised that there has been a spike in the number of death cases today because the ministry had to persuade certain states to send reports of cases/deaths on time.

Even though the health ministry refrained from mentioning the states, West Bengal recently found itself at the centre of a controversy for reporting different mortality data from the health ministry. The chief secretary of the state Rajiva Sinha recently admitted faults in its COVID-19 figures reporting structure and said that they are quoting the right figure. The additional 72 deaths mentioned in the audit report of Inter ministerial central team are co-morbidity deaths, i.e the primary cause of the death is not coronavirus but pre-existing health conditions.

He added that the West Bengal hospitals have been asked to not report the co-morbidity deaths. No figures were reported in the last 3 days because their reporting structure was very complicated. They are trying to keep the arrangements dynamic and improved so that no figures are lost in the cracks.

The health ministry added that the country needs to ensure that people, who do not suffer from COVID-19, continue to get proper medical attention at both government and private hospitals, especially services for critically ill patients.

MHA Joint Secretary Punya Salila Srivastava urged all offices to ensure thermal screening of employees. She said that the office incharges must ensure that there are sufficient face masks and sanitisers within the office, social distancing norms are being followed and employees have registered themselves on Aarogya Setu app. She also laid out social distancing guidelines for events like weddings and last rites.