With 7,862 new cases, Maharashtra on Friday witnessed its highest ever single day record in fresh Covid-19 infections, taking the state burden to 2.38 lakh. Mumbai with 1,337 new cases has till now reported 90,461 infections.
With 226 deaths registered on Friday, the toll in the state stands at 9,893. In Mumbai, which saw 73 more people succumbing to the virus, the toll is 5,205.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) labelled 275 deaths as “deaths due to other causes” in Mumbai on Friday. These deaths occurred between March and June. On June 18, The Indian Express had reported that the BMC death audit committee had decided to categorise 347 deaths of Covid-19 positive patients as “non Covid-19 deaths”.
Over the last one month, the state government was assessing these deaths. Among them, 275 have now been officially categorised as “deaths due to other causes”.
“The remaining 72 have been labelled as caused by Covid-19 and added to the official toll,” said Suresh Kakani, BMC Additional Municipal Commissioner.
Across the state, 296 deaths of Covid-19 positive patients have been categorised as “deaths due to other causes”.
Among them, 96.9 per cent (287 patients, including the 275 declared non-Covid deaths on Friday) are from Mumbai, two each from Dhule and Raigad, and one each from Thane, Satara, Solapur, Akola and Wardha.
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These “non Covid-19 deaths” emerged during a massive data reconciliation exercise by the state last month. State health officials have maintained that BMC told them that these patients had died as a result of other health problems and not directly due to Covid-19.
“The Maharashtra government shared the details of these deaths with the Centre to assess whether these can be categorised as non-Covid deaths. We had informed the state and asked for its directive,” Kakani said.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), except Covid-19 positive patients dying as a result of poisoning, accident, suicide or terminal illness, all have to be labelled as Covid-19 deaths and reported to the government.
A member of the BMC death audit committee said the 374 Covid-19 positive patients suffered from renal failure, cancer, terminal illnesses and critical ailments when they died in Mumbai. An official added that 280 of the 347 patients were on ventilator support, indicating compromised lung functioning and breathing.
A member of the state-appointed death audit committee, however, said: “It is difficult to predict how coronavirus can affect organs. It is a complex disease that can further deteriorate the health of a sick person. Therefore, it would not be correct to say Covid-19 was not at all responsible for a death.”
Meanwhile, of the 226 deaths reported due to Covid-19 on Friday, 73 were from Mumbai, followed by Pune (21), Thane (17), Navi Mumbai (12), Pimpri Chinchwad (11), Kalyan Dombivali (10), Vasai Virar (9), Bhiwandi Nizampur (8), Panvel (6) and Ulhasnagar (5). The remaining deaths were reported from 15 other districts.
Metropolitan Region contributed to 126 of the 226 deaths. While Pune’s overall toll stands at 835, the figure for Thane is 524. Aurangabad, Solapur and Navi Mumbai are nearing the 300-mark in Covid-19 deaths.
Across the state, there are 95,647 active cases. On Friday, while 31,491 tests were conducted in Maharashtra, the figure for Mumbai was 5,412.
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