Bihar revises COVID death count by staggering 72%, number at 9,429

India reports worst fatality number in world, Bihar govt says spike due to deaths at private hospitals, under home isolation and post-COVID problems

Four of Bihar's 38 districts have showed a rise of at least 200% in the toll. Representative Photo

Bihar on Wednesday (June 9) majorly revised its COVID fatality count, following the Patna High Court flagging irregularities in May, sending the national death figures per day to 6,148 — the highest-ever single-day toll from COVID across the world, media reports said.

Bihar on June 9 reported that the number of deaths across the state in the pandemic was 9,429 compared to the figure of 5,500 earlier – a 72 per cent hike.

Four of the state’s 38 districts showed a rise of at least 200 per cent in the toll.

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According to the additional secretary (health), Pratyaya Amrit, the increase was due to deaths reported at private hospitals, under home isolation and of post-COVID complications. “These deaths had remained unaccounted earlier,” he told the media.

Also read: COVID scare: Panic in Bihar after bodies found floating in Ganga

New figures after the three-week audit imply that while 1,600 people died of the pandemic in Bihar between March 2020 and 2021, the number of deaths from April to June 7 this year was a staggering 7,775 — about six times more.

The state’s Health Department said about 72 per cent more had been added after verification from all districts. It gave a break-up from 38 districts, but did not specify when these additional deaths took place.

The maximum deaths, as per the new figures, occurred in state capital Patna, 2,303. The city also accounted for the highest number of “additional deaths reported after verification”.

The exercise to audit the additional fatalities was taken up after the Patna high court pointed at irregularities in death figures in Buxar district on May 17. The government formed committees at the district level, comprising a civil surgeon, an additional chief medical officer and a senior medical officer.

Also read: Killer combo for COVID: Being maskless, chatting in indoor spaces

Although India’s tally of new cases had started decreasing by the end of May, the death toll had continued its upward trend as states reviewed their backlog data.

New Covid-19 cases saw a slight increase for the second day on Thursday with 94,052 more people testing positive, according to data by the Union health ministry.

The number stood at 92,596 the previous day. With the addition of new infections, the cumulative tally has reached 2,91,83,121.

The active cases in the country have reduced to 11,67,952 after 60 days comprising 4 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID recovery rate has improved to 94.77 per cent.

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