Coronavirus in Delhi: This was not based on stories about dead bodies not being declared as Covid-infected, but on just a simple reading of the data that the government put out.
COVID-19 deaths in Delhi: Till a few days ago, FE’s analysis showed that the Delhi government was undercounting its deaths by as much as 242 between May 29 and June 11. This was not based on stories about dead bodies not being declared as Covid-infected, but on just a simple reading of the data that the government put out.
On June 15, for instance, the daily medical bulletin of the Delhi government reported 73 deaths on that day and on June 14 it had reported a cumulative death count of 1,327; add the two, and you get 1,400, which as it happens is the cumulative death count reported in the June 15 medical bulletin.
The daily deaths for June 14 were 56, and the cumulative deaths on June 13 were 1,271; add the two, and you get a figure of 1,327, which is the cumulative death count reported for June 14. This exercise repeats itself till June 12, when the numbers from the death audit committee were also added to the cumulative count.
So, on June 12, the day’s death was reported as 71. For June 11, the bulleting gave the cumulative death as 1,085, and the death audit committee had, on that day, said 58 deaths were due to Covid. Add, 71 to 58 and 1,085, and you get 1,214, which is the cumulative death figure the bulletin gives for June 12.
So far, so good. The problem then starts. On June 11, the day’s death figure was 65, while on June 10, the cumulative number was 984; the death audit committee reported 101 deaths on June 10. Ideally, when you add 984 to 101 and 65, you should arrive at 1,150 fatalities as a cumulative total for June 11. However, the June 11 medical bulletin reports 1,085 cumulative deaths; essentially that means the government did not account for 65 deaths that took place on that day.
Similarly, on June 10, a number of 48 was given as deaths for the day. On June 9, the cumulative deaths were 905, and another 79 were reported by the death audit committee. Add, 79 to 905, plus the daily deaths for June 10 (48), and you should arrive at a number of 1,032. Instead, the government’s bulletin gives the cumulative death number of 984, which means it did not add the 48 deaths that took place on June 10.
Repeat this exercise till May 29, when the DAC started reporting death numbers, and you get a total of 242 ‘missing’ deaths.
In the June 16 bulletin, however, where 437 deaths were added, the bulletin states “this cumulative figure includes all pending deaths reported to and audited by Death Audit Committee.” In other words, it is not clear whether the 242 missing deaths have been included in this number.