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The COVID-19 death toll in India saw a massive jump on Thursday after the Bihar health department revised the toll in the state to more than 9,000. According to the Union health ministry data released on Thursday morning, India saw 6,148 fatalities, the highest single-day toll so far, which took the overall tally to 3,59,676.

Bihar revises COVID-19 fatalities, confirms more than 9,000 deaths:

COVID-19 death toll in Bihar was on Wednesday revised drastically upwards by the state health department which put the total number of fatalities caused by the pandemic at 9,429.

According to the health department, added 3,951 deaths to the toll after verification. The previous day the death toll was at 5,500.

However, it was not specified as to when these additional deaths took place, though a breakup was provided for all 38 districts.

Going by the fresh figures, the number of lives lost in the second wave is close to 8,000 and a nearly six times increase in the death toll since April.

Patna district bore the brunt of the outbreak, accounting for a total of 2,303 deaths. Muzaffarpur was a distant second with 609 fatalities.

Patna also accounted for the highest number of 1,070 "additional deaths reported after verification", followed by Begusarai (316), Muzaffarpur (314), East Champaran (391), and Chief Minister Nitish Kumars native Nalanda (222).

Altogether 7,15,179 people have been infected in the state so far of whom more than five lakhs caught the contagion in the last couple of months.

The health department has also revised the number of recovered persons from 7,01,234 on the previous day to 6,98,397.

Why did Bihar revise its data?

Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey on Thursday said the government had been working on revising the COVID-19 death toll for the past few weeks after it came to know from "various sources" that the COVID-19 death toll could be more in number.

"We got to know from various sources that those who died (due to COVID) could be more in number. After consultations with stakeholders, State govt instructed dist admn to identify institutional deaths due to COVID," Pandey told news agency ANI.

"For 15-20 days DMs monitored & prepared report of combined numbers (deaths). This is not 2-day work, report was prepared in 15-20 days & released y'day. Govt's intent is to reach out to (COVID) deceased's families & help them financially," he added.

Meanwhile, RJD MLA Bhai Virendra said the death toll in the state could be ten times higher than the government has showed. "Those conducting tests have been asked to give only negative reports. Floating bodies in rivers prove that Bihar’s COVID death numbers are manipulated. Deaths are 10 times higher than they showed," he told news agency ANI.

(With PTI inputs)

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