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Monday, August 02, 2021

Maharashtra: With 1,283 fatalities, state touched peak in Covid fatalities on April 26

With the reconciliation of numbers, Maharashtra has recorded 1.25 lakh Covid-19 deaths until July 9. The state accounts for over 30 per cent of India’s Covid-19 fatalities.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai |
July 10, 2021 12:51:52 am
A rush for Covid-19 tests at Maasaheb Meenatai Thackeray Hospital, in Navi Mumbai on Friday. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

As an exercise to report all pending Covid-19 deaths draws to a close, Maharashtra has noted that it reported the highest single-day fatalities since last March, when the pandemic erupted, on April 26 when 1,283 deaths were recorded.

Nine days earlier, on April 18, the state recorded its highest single-day Covid-19 cases at 68,631.

With the reconciliation of numbers, Maharashtra has recorded 1.25 lakh Covid-19 deaths until July 9. The state accounts for over 30 per cent of India’s Covid-19 fatalities.

Starting mid-May, the state government had started a massive reconciliation exercise, asking all private and public hospitals to report all Covid-19 deaths that had been missed out earlier.

During April and May, when the state battled a second wave, several hospitals were unable to report deaths, leading to a backlog of unreported Covid-19 fatalities. In order to report a death, a hospital has to fill all entries on the Indian Council of Medical Research portal and notify the district authority. Data entry operators were then unable to process this information in real-time.

Since mid-May, when the Covid-19 curve started declining, hospitals began combing through their backlog to report each death. Pune, Thane and Nagpur account for the bulk of the deaths that got missed out in April and May.

“We have added between 25,000 to 30,000 Covid-19 deaths as part of the reconciliation process. This requires carefully removing duplicates, checking status updates of Covid-19 cases and comparing reports from hospitals with information from districts,” said Dr Satish Pawar from the Directorate of Health Services.

Updated data now gives a clear picture of when Covid-19 deaths peaked in Maharashtra. For 24 days from April 18 till May 11, the state recorded over 1,000 Covid-19 fatalities every day.

The state recorded a peak in Covid-19 cases on April 18 with active caseload of over six lakh. The daily fatalities on April 18 was 1,040. From April 21 till April 30, more than 1,200 Covid-19 deaths were recorded every day in Maharashtra, with the highest single-day spike of 1,283 on April 26.

From May 1 till May 11, daily number of Covid-19 deaths dropped to between 1,000 and 1,200. The overall case fatality rate has risen to 2 per cent in the state, up from 1.5 per cent until mid-May. Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Dr Pradeep Vyas said the public health department is working hard to account for every deceased who tested positive for Covid-19. “The data reconciliation exercise is almost over,” he added.

Data shows that daily Covid-19 fatalities saw a sharp dip mid-May onwards, falling from over 1,000 to 700 per day. At the beginning of June, deaths dropped below 300 per day. Currently, the state is recording between 100 to 200 deaths daily. Officials said that with fresh Covid-19 cases hovering between 8,000 to 10,000 daily since a month, high number of fatalities are expected to continue for the next few days. Over 5,000 patients are still in hospitals on ICU support.

The second wave’s peak plateaued for close to a month, longer than the first wave. The first wave’s peak plateaued for a fortnight.

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