Mumbai: Following the completion of its 14th Covid-19 data reconciliation exercise, the number of positive cases in Maharashtra have risen by 2,479, while 3,509 more deaths have been added to its tally. After large-scale criticism from various sections of social media, Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope said in a video, “It is true that after data reconciliation, positive cases have surged by 2,479 and deaths by 3,509. There were delays from private hospitals in regularly sending data to the government hospitals in their respective districts for uploading on the portal. I will ensure that the necessary directives to the health department are issued at the Chief Minister’s level, so that private hospitals will regularly update their data on the portal.”
He, however, clarified that there had been no fudging of data nor had there been any move to hide the numbers.
Tope has yet again passed the buck to the private hospitals. He has also hinted that private hospitals had yet to respond to the government’s repeated calls to daily update their data, to avoid reconciliation. “The district health administration will be asked to procure numbers daily from the private hospitals so that there will be no need for reconciliation,” he said.
Earlier, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had announced that the country’s death toll had risen to 4,18,480, while 42,015 new infections had been reported after Maharashtra’s reconciliation exercise.
The state public health department had faced similar embarrassment after it undertook a similar exercise in June. From May 26 to June 10, almost 8,074 death records were uploaded on the portal and included in the state’s death tally. The IT cell helped districts resolve technical issues to sort out issues of data discrepancies. For bulk uploading, the state uses application programme interface technology, so that data uploading can be facilitated.
A senior health department official said that many times, owing to the sheer load of samples, laboratories were also unable to upload all the data on the portal regularly. If the laboratory has not updated data on the portal, naturally there is a reporting lag, he added.