COVID was 2nd biggest killer in 7 states: Registrar General of India

According to the data, Covid was the fourth biggest cause of death death in the country overall

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, May 26, 2022, 11:16 AM IST
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Victims of COVID-19 are cremated in funeral pyres in New Delhi, in April 2021. WHO says the real death toll and number of infections are likely much higher than what the Indian government is reporting | AFP

The Covid-19 disease claimed 1,60,618 deaths in 2020 and accounted for 8.9 per cent of the total 18.11 lakh medically certified deaths in the country, according to the Report on Medical Certification of Cause of Death-2020 released by the Office of the Registrar General of India (RGI) on Wednesday, The Indian Express reported.

According to the data, Covid was the fourth biggest cause of death death in the country overall.

However, it was the second biggest cause in seven states — Maharashtra (17.7 per cent), Manipur (15.7 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (15 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (13.5 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (12 per cent), Punjab (11.9 per cent) and Jharkhand (7.6 per cent).

Lives have been lost due to the lack of preparedness of governments, India’s poor health infrastructure, lack of medical oxygen and even medicines.

Experts have also been unhappy with India’s COVID-19 vaccine procurement and pricing policy. States have to await their quota of vaccines.

The Centre and state governments have been accused and held responsible by the Supreme Court and High Court for undermining the scale of crisis and failure to manage it.

It is important to know why people die to improve how people live. Measuring how many people die each year helps to assess the effectiveness of our health systems and direct resources to where they are needed most.

For example, mortality data can help focus activities and resource allocation among sectors such as transportation, food and agriculture, and the environment as well as health.

COVID-19 has highlighted the importance for countries to invest in civil registration and vital statistics systems to allow daily counting of deaths, and direct prevention and treatment efforts. It has also revealed inherent fragmentation in data collection systems in most low-income countries, where policy-makers still do not know with confidence how many people die and of what causes.

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