Behind the mystery of Kerala's rising Covid-19 deaths; data reveals the truth
The Kerala government, it now seems, may have been fudging some of the worrying statistics related to the pandemic.
Has the Kerala government been fudging Coronavirus data related to the deaths in the state due to the pandemic? Contrary to the Centre's appeal to the states to ensure robust, timely and transparent reporting of cases and deaths on daily basis in all the states, the Kerala government, it now seems, may have been fudging some of the worrying statistics related to the pandemic.
According to Health Ministry sources, Kerala always claimed that its clinical management for Covid-19 has been very good and hence one of the lowest number of deaths were being reported from the state. The state health authorities had been submitting data to the Centre wherein while they had the larger share of cases in the country but a low share of reported deaths in the country.
For example, during the month of April 2021, Kerala contributed to 6.2 per cent of the total cases in the country but reported only 1.4 per cent of total deaths. A month later, in May 2021, Kerala contributed to 10.6 per cent of the total cases during the month in the country but reported only 2.8 per cent of total deaths reported during the month.
However, health ministry sources, say that if the same analysis was done for subsequent months, it is shocking to highlight that since the last three months in the name of reporting backlog deaths, a larger number of deaths were being reported by Kerala. The same is also being done on a daily basis since October 21. The officials believe that over 8,684 deaths have been reconciled in the last month in addition to daily deaths reported by Kerala.
Accordingly, in August 2021, they contributed to 56.9 per cent of total cases during the month in the country and disproportionately high (26.9 per cent) of total deaths reported during the month. In September 2021, Kerala contributed to 65.7 per cent of the country's cases but 45.2 per cent of the country’s deaths. A month later, in October, Kerala contributed to 55.6 per cent of the country's cases but 64.7 per cent of the country's deaths. This month, Kerala contributed to 56.6 per cent of the country’s cases but shockingly 77.4 per cent of the country's deaths.
The data accessed by Asianet Newsable suggests that between October 22 and November 22, Kerala reported 10,473 deaths due to Covid-19 of which 8,684 were reconciled deaths while just 1,789 were new deaths. Most of these deaths were reported. Most of these reconciled deaths were reported in Ernakulam (1,824), Kozhikode (1,032), Thrissur (1,031)
The data on recent reconciliation of deaths in the state clearly reflects how the reveals inadequacies in the recording and reporting mechanism, Health Ministry sources claim, adding that apart from the deaths being added after an appeal by the public, the deaths being added to the cumulative death toll also include the backlog of unreported cases during the period between March 2020 and June 2021 which is a cause of concern. The data has brought to the fore the gap in the effective implementation of a containment strategy in the past few months coupled with belying the claims made by the state with respect to managing deaths due to Covid-19.