Covid death toll figures still confuse people

Covid death toll figures still confuse people
As the Covid-19 death toll mounts, the confusion over the figures in the entire north Bengal region still persists, with the media reporting many more deaths than what the state health department has actually been showing in its daily reports.

A total of 50 Covid patients have died in Darjeeling district as of 16 August, according to the health bulletin released by the state health and welfare department. Sources said most of them died in the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) and the Siliguri Sub Division areas in Darjeeling district.

However, as the government report came last evening, several people expressed concerns over the figures, while they wondered what the actual figures could be for Siliguri that has areas under both Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts.

 

“The Covid-19 death toll is 50 in Darjeeling officially, but unofficially 100 people have died in the district so far, and many of them are from the SMC and Siliguri Sub Division area,” a source said.

Notably, Jalpaiguri district is in the second position in North Bengal after Darjeeling, as per the state government’s Covid-19 bulletin. A total of 22 people died there as of 16 August.

Officially, 134 Covid patients have died in eight districts of North Bengal as of 16 August, while 2428 patients have died in West Bengal as of 16 August, with 51 dying in the past 24 hours.

Official records show that the death rate was on the rise in Bengal from 11 to 14 August, and it started falling again.

When 49 Covid patients had died as of 11 August, the death toll was 54 on 12 August, 56 on 13 August and 60 on 14 August. The government bulletin shows 58 people died on 15 August and 51 on 16 August.

According to observers, the deaths are under control in Hill areas, including Kalimpong district, as compared to the plain areas, except for Cooch Behar district. Though a Kalimpong resident was the first Covid-19 victim in north Bengal, no fresh death has been reported there after that. “Only one person each has died in Kalimpong and Cooch Behar so far, but the death rate in other districts is on the rise,” sources said.

In Malda, 21 persons have died as of 16 August, but it was 17 on 11 August. Similarly, 18 patients have died in South Dinajpur as of 16 August, but the death report was 16 from 11 to 13 August.

Similarly, since 11 August, two Covid patients died in a six-day period in North Dinajpur, while the health authorities recorded 15 deaths there as of 16 August. Eight more patients have died in Jalpaiguri since 11 August.

When 22 Covid patients have died in Jalpaiguri, at least 50 have died in Darjeeling district as of 16 August. A total of 40 patients had died in Darjeeling district as of 11 August, while the rate increased by the day. Notably, 45 deaths were recorded till 15 August and 50 died till 16 August morning.

Asked to comment, one of the members of the Board of Administrators for the SMC, Sankar Ghosh, said: “Authorities do not give importance to updating the data on time. This has caused confusion among the common people regarding both death and infection in Siliguri. The rate of transmission and death owing to Covid-19 is alarming in Darjeeling district and it due to a lack proper plan from the administrative part to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.”

However, former leader of the opposition in the SMC, Ranjan Sarkar, who is also the Trinamul Congress party president in Siliguri, said: “There is no intention to suppress data. Death reports are up to date from the state government-designated hospitals here. But we are facing problems updating data from private hospitals. Data from the private sector are being updated after two to three days. We have pointed this in the last Task Force meeting.”

According to him, they have also urged that positive swab test reports from the private sector be informed quickly to the administration so that proper care can be taken on time.

“The death report in Siliguri is apparently high because many Covid patients, coming from Bihar, other states and districts, have also died here,” he said.

Significantly, two more deaths were reported in Darjeeling district in the past 24 hours, as per the state government’s bulletin, taking the total deaths to 52 as of today. The bulletin also marked no deaths in other districts of north Bengal.

 
https://www.thestatesman.com
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As the Covid-19 death toll mounts, the confusion over the figures in the entire north Bengal region still persists, with the media reporting many more

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