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Toll the second wave took: In all but four states, deaths doubled in last six weeks

Nearly 2.1 lakh Covid-19 deaths have been recorded in the country since April 1, more than 55 per cent — over 1.18 lakh — of which have been reported by the five states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh. This is not surprising considering these are also the states with the highest death counts.

Written by Amitabh Sinha
Pune | Updated: June 14, 2021 8:47:19 am
At a cremation centre in Punjab

The Covid-19 death toll in every state barring four has at least doubled in the last six weeks. In a few states, the toll has increased by close to four times.

The only states that have bucked this trend are West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Tripura, and the Union Territory of Ladakh.

Nearly 2.1 lakh Covid-19 deaths have been recorded in the country since April 1, more than 55 per cent — over 1.18 lakh — of which have been reported by the five states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh. This is not surprising considering these are also the states with the highest death counts.

In each of these five states, close to 60 per cent of the total toll was recorded in these last six weeks. In other words, their death toll increased by 2 to 2.5 times during this period.

This has been true for most other states as well. In some states, almost 80 per cent of their death toll till now has been reported after April 1.

Explained

Consistent pattern in states

India’s death toll has increased by about 2.2 times in the last six weeks. In percentage terms, not much has changed in the contributions of states to the national toll in this period and earlier.

This number is the highest in Bihar, where 83 per cent of the state’s death toll has been reported after April 1. But this is mainly because of the nearly 4,000 deaths added by the state government two days ago in a data cleaning exercise.

The period in which these previously uncounted deaths happened is not clear, and it is possible that at least some of them could be even from last year.

The country’s death toll also increased by more than two times during this period — from about 1.64 lakh to more than 3.73 lakh now. Data show that there has been little change in the proportion of deaths being reported from different states during the last six weeks, and in the period before that.

In states like Uttarakhand, Assam, Goa, and Jharkhand, more than 70 per cent of total deaths have happened in the last six weeks. This means that the death toll in these states more than tripled during this time.

Meghalaya and Nagaland also fall in this category, although the toll in these states is relatively small.

The top five states — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh — account for 57 per cent of all deaths in the last six weeks, and 60 per cent overall.

Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, two states with relatively large numbers of deaths, saw their numbers increase by about 40 per cent in the last six weeks.

India reported 80,834 fresh Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours preceding Sunday, the lowest in 71 days, while the daily test positivity rate fell further to 4.25 per cent, according to data put online by the Union Health Ministry.

As of Sunday, there were 10,26,159 active cases of Covid-19 in the country, 54,531 fewer than the tally of the previous 24 hours. A total 3,303 deaths were added to the official toll during this period; this figure includes a large number of old deaths as well.

As of Sunday morning, India had seen a total 2,94,39,989 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection, and 3,70,384 confirmed Covid-related deaths.

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