Mumbai: Over 3,000 deaths added to toll this month as data is reconciled | Mumbai News


Health worker screens a resident in Mumbai’s Dharavai area

MUMBAI: Over the last two weeks, civic ward-level officials have been given the task of calling up the kin of dozens of deceased Covid-19 patients and verifying whether they have passed away. While in most cases, they have received an affirmative reply, there have also been instances of the deceased patient not belonging to their ward or even of being alive.
This has also meant the number of Covid-19 deaths in every ward has spiked compared to the last three months. Data shows that in June, more than 3,000 deaths (3,184 till June 29) have been added to Mumbai’s toll, more than in the previous three months (7 in March, 281 in April and 989 in May).
A ward-level official said every ward had been maintaining their own list of deaths, and last week, they received a list of deceased belonging to their wards from the civic epidemiology cell, which were additions to the list they had maintained. The number of deaths varies from 100 to 300 in every ward. Several deaths with ICMR confirmation have not been reported to wards. A ward-level official said the sorting procedure is on. “We have called up each of those mentioned on the list and are trying to confirm deaths. The ward office was not aware and therefore these deaths were not reflected in our records,” the officer said.
Another official said the number of deaths were conveyed to the epidemiology cell but did not reflect in their records. “We have been communicating deaths as and when reported to us by hospitals, but if no report is submitted to us, how would the ward know?” said the official.
Last week, BMC said it has sent out a final reminder to all hospitals to provide the pending death reports by June 29. However, as on Monday, officials from the public health department said they will wait till the end of the day to receive reports. Dr Daksha Shah, deputy chief executive health officer, said consolidation process was still on. “Verification of deaths takes time and therefore the report is yet to be completed,” she said.
SP corporator and MLA Rais Shaikh said there has always been discrepancy in civic data. “Not just in case of deaths but also in patient numbers. There is no nodal officer to tally data,” he said.

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