Coronavirus: India refutes reports of 'vastly undercounted' deaths
The central government on Thursday refuted reports that India's COVID-19 death toll was "vastly undercounted." The government noted that such reports are based on the "totally fallacious" assumption that all excess mortality figures are COVID-19 deaths. India on Thursday reported 507 fresh fatalities, pushing the nationwide COVID-19 death toll to 4.19 lakh, the third-highest in the world for any country.
Missing out on deaths unlikely: Health Ministry
The Union Health Ministry said on Thursday that missing out on the deaths is unlikely given the robust and statute-based death registration system in India. Some deaths may go undetected, it conceded. However, it refuted reports that India underreported COVID-19 deaths. A recent study by the Washington-based Center for Global Development had said India's excess deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic could be 4.9 million.
'Extrapolation of deaths done on audacious assumption'
The Ministry said, "The extrapolation of deaths has been done on an audacious assumption that the likelihood of any given infected person dying is the same across countries, dismissing the interplay between various direct and indirect factors such as race, ethnicity, genomic constitution of a population, previous exposure levels to other diseases, and the associated immunity developed in that population."
India's tally crosses 3.12 crore; 4.19 lakh dead
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Thursday morning, India reported a total of 3,12,57,720 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 4,18,987. So far, 3,04,29,339 patients have recovered, while 4,09,394 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 41,383 new infections, 38,652 more discharges, and 507 fresh fatalities. 41,78,51,151 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
India's second wave peaked on May 7
Notably, India's second wave peaked on May 7, when 4.14 lakh single-day cases were reported, over four times the number of cases reported during the first wave in mid-September. Although infections have declined since the second wave peaked, India crossed the three crore-mark on June 23. India had crossed the one crore-mark on December 19, 2020, and the two crore-mark on May 4, 2021.
42% new cases in Kerala alone
Maharashtra reported 8,159 new COVID-19 cases along with 7,839 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 17,481 new cases and 14,131 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 1,639 new cases and 2,214 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 1,891 new cases and 2,423 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 1,843 new cases and 2,199 recoveries.