Nearly 12,000 deaths in 97 days: How India's toll soared across states

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India’s death toll from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has exceeded the 10,000-mark after nearly 100 days since the first fatality was recorded in the country in March.

The country added 2,004 deaths, including the 1,672 backlogged fatalities, and 10,951 infections in its Covid-19 tally on Tuesday, taking the toll to 11,919 from 353,853 infections, according to the HT dashboard.

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The country’s case fatality rate (CFR), which is defined as the proportion of death to the total number of cases, rose from 2.9% to 3.4%.

The Union health ministry, which updates its data every morning, is yet to reflect the backlogged deaths.

The death toll in India surged beyond the 10,000-mark after Delhi and Maharashtra took into account hundreds of fatalities that were pending review. Their toll went by 437 and 1,409 respectively.

Maharashtra recorded 81 cases through the day to take its total death count to 5,537. The state has had 113,445 Covid-19 cases and the new death numbers take its CFR to 4.9% from 3.7 a day earlier.

The national capital also recorded the highest number of deaths – 93 – in a 24-hour period. Delhi now has recorded 44,688 infections in all and 1,837 of the patients have succumbed to the disease.

Tuesday’s reconciling of numbers takes CFR in the city from 3.3% to 4.1% in a single day.

A senior official from Delhi’s health department said the jump in numbers was due to the death committee’s efforts over the last four days to go through all previous emails and add the deaths.

“Some of the deaths were missed as a result of clerical and technological errors,” the official said asking not to be named.

The official cited above said that most of the backlog deaths were from June.

As of Tuesday, 83% of Covid-19 deaths in the country have been reported from the five worst-hit states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. The 10 worst-affected states account for more than 96% of all deaths reported in India.

The first 5,000 fatalities took 80 days, the latest 5,000 deaths came in just 17 days, with more than 2,500 being reported in the last week.

The first death due to Covid-19 in India was reported on March 12 after a 76-year-old man who returned to Karnataka’s Kalburgi from Saudi Arabia tested positive and succumbed to the disease.

India is the fourth worst-hit country in the world in terms of total Covid-19 cases but it has fared much better in terms of deaths where it comes on the eighth spot.

Its total death trajectory is also a lot more gradual when compared to many other nations ravaged by the disease. India’s CFR is at 14% and is much lower than the global average of 56%.

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