On Sunday Maharashtra with 70 deaths was followed up by West Bengal with 47 and Delhi 33, according to data from the union health ministry. A total of 336 deaths were recorded in the country. While the death toll in the country is 1.4%, that of Maharashtra is still 2.5%.
On December 1, Delhi passed Maharashtra to record the highest deaths in a 24-hour window. The national capital had 108 while Maharashtra had 80. On 8 December Maharashtra actually fell to the third position with Delhi and West Bengal contributing 63 and 48 deaths respectively compared to the state 40. Also on 9 December Delhi surpassed the state report the highest deaths in the country.
Interestingly, Kerala, which reported the highest new daily detections, managed to keep deaths under control. It reported between 29-35 deaths in December and held the fourth position in the daily death chart.
Kerala also has the second highest active case rate after Maharashtra while West Bengal has the third highest. Punjab and Haryana are the two other states regularly appearing in the list of top five states with the highest daily Covid deaths.
Maharashtra officials defended the state numbers and said its death toll was steadily declining. In December, the state reported an average of 80 deaths per day, the highest being 127 on 4 December and the lowest 40 on 6 December and 7 December. Compared to this, average daily deaths in the first two weeks of November were 115.
At its peak, the state saw up to 400 deaths a day, said state surveillance officer Dr. Pradeep Awate. According to him, the state effectively records 30-50 deaths daily, but official number is usually higher due to addition of previous unrecorded deaths. “It is also the factor of transparency and labeling. We have named the deaths of chronic patients, including cases of cancer, kidney and heart disease, as Covid deaths if they tested positive. Many other states do not consider them as Covid deaths,” he said. Dr. Awate. He said of the 48,269 dead in Maharashtra, more than 80% had some comfort.
A former dean of KEM, Dr Avinash Supe, who heads the death control committee for Mumbai circle, said the death rates are quite under control. Mumbai, for example, is the worst hit in the state and has a death rate of 1.8% now, he said. “We have seen almost 4,700 cases but about 70 deaths. Considering the burden of co-mortality in our population, this number is not too significant, ”he said.