The Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government has raked up a major controversy after it revised its COVID-19 death toll figure by 72 per cent on Wednesday. While the state had reported around 5,500 deaths till Tuesday due to the viral infection, the death toll jumped to 9,429 after the revision.
The revision by Bihar also impacted India’s death toll due to COVID-19. On Thursday, India reported 6,148 cases—the highest single-day surge in deaths.
Why the revision was done?
After allegations erupted over manipulation of COVID-19 infection and death figures by the Bihar government, the Patna High Court had directed an audit of deaths during the second surge of the pandemic in April-May.
After a three-week audit, the new figures indicate that 1,600 people died due to the viral infection in the state between March 2020 and 2021. It also revealed that 7,775 deaths took place from April to June 7 this year.
Patna reported the highest additional deaths of 2,303 people post verification. Muzaffarpur was a distant second with 609 fatalities. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s native district Nalanda has added 222 deaths.
The Bihar government’s health department said about 72 per cent more had been added after verification from all districts. It gave a break-up from 38 districts but did not specify when these additional deaths took place.
COVID-19 situation in Bihar
Bihar has reported 7.15 lakh cases of the viral infection so far. Of it, 589 cases were reported on Wednesday. It has over 4,516 active cases of the viral infection. Over 7 lakh people have recovered from the viral infection.
As far as death due to COVID-19 is concerned, 9,429 people have died so far. After revision, 3,971 deaths were added to the death toll. Over 1.14 crore doses of the vaccines have been administered in the state of which only 18.78 lakh people have taken both doses of the vaccines.
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