Covid

Bihar govt revises Covid deaths by 72% after HC-ordered audit

The Covid-19 death toll was revised drastically in Bihar on Wednesday by adding about 72 per cent more fatalities, after the high court-ordered audit in all districts.

UPDATED: June 10, 2021 16:51 IST

The Bihar health department on Wednesday massively revised the Covid-19 death toll, adding about 72 per cent more fatalities, triggering a row over alleged irregularities in death figures in the state.

As Bihar revised the death toll by as many as 3,951 fatalities due to the virus, India on Thursday registered 6,148 deaths, the highest single-day spike the country has recorded ever since the pandemic began.

However, it was not specified as to when these additional deaths took place, though a breakup was provided for all 38 districts in Bihar.

Going by the fresh figures, Bihar’s death toll due to the virus has reached 9,429, compared to the figure of 5,500 earlier. But why did Bihar revise the death toll?

Amid the allegations that the Bihar government was hiding the scale of deaths in the state, the Patna High Court had asked for an audit of casualties in the April-May second surge of the coronavirus pandemic.

After revising the Covid-19 death toll by nearly 4,000, the Bihar government informed that of the revised fatalities, most died in the second wave of the pandemic.

Till June 7, the death toll due to the virus in Bihar was 5,424 which was increased to 9,429 after it was increased by 3,951 fatalities on Wednesday.

The revised fatalities also include people who died due to Covid complications after recovering from the disease and also those who died on the way to the hospital.

Patna district bore the brunt of the outbreak, accounting for a total of 2,303 deaths. Muzaffarpur was a distant second with 609 fatalities.

Patna also accounted for the highest number of 1,070 “additional deaths reported after verification”, followed by Begusarai (316), Muzaffarpur (314), East Champaran (391), and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s native Nalanda (222).

After the revised death toll by the Bihar government, the state has jumped about five spots to become the 12th state to report the highest number of deaths.

Defending the state government after the revision of the Covid-19 death toll, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey said the state did not hide the figures but revealed them. He also ensured strict action against the officials if any negligence is reported.

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