New Delhi: The West Bengal government on Monday disclosed that its system of collecting data on coronavirus patients was not perfect and that some cases may have been missed out. However, the state’s Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha quickly dismissed the faults saying it cannot add these new figures to the existing death toll. Also Read - Three-Phase Unlock 1.0 From Tomorrow: States Decide Dos List, Centre Clears Don'ts List
At least 72 co-morbid patients were found to be linked to COVID-19 deaths by the audit committee in Bengal. In the last 24 hours, 11 people had died, taking the confirmed death toll in state to 61. However, this is exclusive of the 72 co-morbidity deaths with which the tally would shoot up to 133. Also Read - Coronavirus: As Second-Last Day of Lockdown 4.0 Ends, Here's Where The Four Most-Affected States Stand
Addressing a press briefing, Sinha said, “We are quoting the right figure before you. (The 72) co-morbidity deaths will no more come to us because hospitals have been told not to report comorbidity deaths… So they are reporting the death figures and we are quoting the death figures. Where is the issue?” Also Read - Working From Office in Lockdown 5.0? Follow These Guidelines
Admitting that the state had not given its figures for the past three days, Sinha also blamed the lapses of private hospitals that caused delay in submitting its data with the government. He said that the reporting structure of coronavirus cases was “very complicated”, leading to unintentional misses while tallying the numbers.
The audit committee constituted by West Bengal had earlier said that it would be dealing with only peculiar cases of coronavirus, not all deaths, and submit its report to the government.”We have now tried to ensure no figures were lost in the cracks,” he said.
Meanwhile, the central team that visited Kolkata, Howrah and few other districts in the state to assess the situation said that West Bengal had the highest mortality rate in the country, at 12.8 per cent. Yet, it was also conducting one of the lowest amount of testing with weak surveillance and huge discrepancies in COVID-19 reports.