• Friday, September 17, 2021
India Corona Update 
Total Fatalities 443,928
Total Cases 33,347,325
Today's Fatalities 431
Today's Cases 30,570
Pakistan Corona Update 
Total Fatalities 418,480
Total Cases 31,216,337
Today's Fatalities 3,998
Today's Cases 42,015
Sri Lanka Corona Update 
Total Fatalities 418,480
Total Cases 31,216,337
Today's Fatalities 3,998
Today's Cases 42,015
Bangladesh Corona Update 
Total Fatalities 418,480
Total Cases 31,216,337
Today's Fatalities 3,998
Today's Cases 42,015
UK Corona Update 
Total Fatalities 418,480
Total Cases 31,216,337
Today's Fatalities 3,998
Today's Cases 42,015
India corona update 
Total Fatalities 443,928
Total Cases 33,347,325
Today's Fatalities 431
Today's Cases 30,570

INDIA

India rejects studies that millions died of Covid-19

Railway porters wait in a queue to get a dose of the Covishield vaccine against the Covid-19 coronavirus inside railway compartments modified as a temporary vaccination centre at Sealdah railway station in Kolkata on July 22, 2021. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

THE Indian government has said that several Indian states are now “reconciling” their Covid death data after dealing with a spike in cases in April and May.

It rejected recent studies suggesting that millions of people have died in the country from Covid-19, several times the official toll of almost 420,000.

On Tuesday (20) a study by US research group the Center for Global Development suggested anywhere from 3.4 million to 4.7 million people had died in India, between eight and 11 times the official number.

That would give the country the world’s highest number of fatalities. Currently its official toll of 419,000 trails the US on 610,000 and Brazil with 545,000.

The study is the latest to cast doubt on India’s official numbers, pointing to poor record-keeping and the death rate per million being around half the global average.

Researchers have looked in particular at “excess mortality”, the number of additional fatalities compared with normal times, and death rates in other countries.

But the Indian government said Thursday it was an “audacious assumption that the likelihood of any given infected person dying is the same across countries”.

The studies, it said, ignored “factors such as race, ethnicity, the genomic constitution of a population, previous exposure levels to other diseases and the associated immunity developed in that population”.

Assuming that all excess deaths were from coronavirus was “not based on facts and totally fallacious”, the government said.

It added that India has a “thorough contact tracing strategy”, a “vast availability” of testing labs and that while some cases may go undetected, “missing out on deaths is unlikely”.

The statement however left some room for blame against local authorities, saying the health ministry “only compiles and publishes data sent by the state governments” and that it had been “repeatedly advising” states on properly recording deaths.

States overwhelmed by the surge in April and May have now been “advised to conduct thorough audits that could have been missed”, and several have in recent weeks updated their figures, it said.

Maharashtra, India’s worst-hit state, has upped its death toll by around 15,000 while Bihar added about 4,000 and Madhya Pradesh 1,500.

Eastern Eye

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