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Covid-19 data in doubt as ICMR records 1,087 more patients than NCDC

Overall, while NCDC recorded India’s confirmed cases at 26,496 as of 8 am on April 26, ICMR said the number is 27,583 — a difference of 1,087 patients.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | New Delhi | Updated: April 27, 2020 7:50:28 am
Covid-19 data in doubt as ICMR records 1,087 more patients than NCDC In 21 states and UTs, the numbers of confirmed cases are higher in the ICMR records as compared to NCDC as of data collected by 8 am on April 26. (File Photo)

In the meeting chaired by Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba with state health secretaries on Sunday, the issue of data anomalies across states was raised. A presentation during the meeting recorded the difference in the confirmed case counts across all states and Union Territories between data collated by the NCDC and the ICMR, raising the question of whether cases were being missed out because of these infirmities.

Overall, while NCDC recorded India’s confirmed cases at 26,496 as of 8 am on April 26, ICMR said the number is 27,583 — a difference of 1,087 patients.

The presentation to the states during the meeting showed that data from NCDC and ICMR matched in only eight regions — five states from the Northeast and the Union Territories of Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Lakshadweep. Of these eight places, four have no cases and only one state has more than 2 confirmed cases — Meghalaya with 12 cases.

In 21 states and UTs, the numbers of confirmed cases are higher in the ICMR records as compared to NCDC as of data collected by 8 am on April 26. The highest difference is registered in Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal where the ICMR data shows 8,848, 3,809 and 770 confirmed cases, respectively, while the NCDC data puts the case count at 7,628, 3,071 and 611, respectively. The highest difference among these 21 states is in Maharashtra — 1,220 cases. Nagaland has the lowest difference of 1 case. While ICMR data records Nagaland’s confirmed case count as 1, NCDC has zero next to the state’s name.

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There are correspondingly eight states where the NCDC number is higher than the ICMR, the biggest differences recorded in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. For instance, while Delhi’s NCDC count is 2,625, the ICMR number is 2,155. The corresponding numbers for MP are 2096 (NCDC) and 1778 (ICMR), and 1793 (NCDC) and 1572 (ICMR) for Uttar Pradesh.

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