As the pandemic continues to sweep the worst-hit state-Maharashtra, the reconciliation figures by the state authorities of the deaths formerly discarded as non-coronavirus related have posed a grim picture about the spread of the contagion in the state.
The death tally of Maharashtra has risen by 1,328 on June 16 after the officials released “reconciled” figures of the overall death figure in the state due to coronavirus. The total coronavirus-related fatalities in the state have touched 5510-mark. Mumbai also has seen a jump of 862 deaths of the total 1,328 reconciled deaths while the rest of the state has registered the remaining 466 deaths.
According to the reports, the reconciled death figures come amid a dispute over unreported COVID-19 deaths which were categorised under comorbidity instead of coronavirus. Several complaints were made in the last two months that the coronavirus-related deaths were described as “natural deaths” in the death certificates.
The former chief minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis has accused the state government of deliberately concealing the true number in a bid to understate the coronavirus-related death in the state.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi government admitted to the discrepancies in the reported number of COVID-19 deaths in the state, admitting that the about 1,328 COVID-19 deaths were earlier reported as non-COVID-19 deaths. “A total of 1,382 additional deaths will be added to the COVID-19 death toll of the state. These were deaths of COVID patients and were marked as non-COVID”, Maharashtra Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta was quoted as saying.
According to the Epidemic Act, 1897, any patient who had died of coronavirus has to be reported under the COVID-19 casualty figures if he or she is found positive for coronavirus regardless of the cause of the death. The exceptions allowed are-accident, terminal illness, suicide or poisoning.