Bengaluru data on Covid cases, deaths transparent: Study

Study says insurance claims do not match govt data for other mega cities, points to under-reporting
 

Published: 23rd August 2021 02:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd August 2021 02:19 AM   |  A+A-

Covid Deaths, coronavirus death, cremation, funeral

For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Among the six mega cities — Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai — Bengaluru has seen relatively better transparency in reporting Covid cases and the number of Covid deaths, a study shows. An analysis conducted by Jeevan Raksha showed that the six mega cities reported 36,688 Covid cases in July. 

However, as per data by the General Insurance Council of India, 33,241 new health insurance claims were registered for Covid treatment in these six mega cities. This means, 91 per cent of Covid-positive patients had group or individual health insurance for Covid (PM-JAY and other government scheme beneficiaries are excluded) in July. According to the IRDA report of state-wise health insurance, only 2 per cent of India’s population is covered under Group / Individual Health Insurance (non-government schemes). 

Ideally, as per health insurance penetration in India, the percentage of Covid insurance claims in mega cities should be in the range of 10-20 per cent. A higher percentage of claims signifies under-reporting of Covid cases and deaths.

For instance, Ahmedabad reported 283 Covid cases in July, but there were 5,009 new medical insurance claims registered for Covid, which is 18 times higher than the reported Covid cases, with the insurance claims percentage being 1,770 per cent. Similarly, eight deaths were reported in the same period, whereas 81 deaths have been registered in July, which is 1,013 per cent more.

In Delhi, 2,077 cases were reported in the same month, and 9,192 medical insurance claims were made, bringing it to 443 per cent. Meanwhile, 46 deaths were reported and 149 claims made, with the death claim coming to 196 per cent.

However, in Bengaluru, 13,780 cases were reported and 4,991 claims were made, with the insurance claim percentage coming to 36. There were 246 deaths, and 38 insurance claims, which shows 15 per cent death claims, pointing to a lower prevalence of under-reporting. 

Sanjeev Mysore, convener of Jeevan Raksha, said, “Bengaluru Urban has been relatively the most transparent mega city, with respect to Covid data disclosure. It is the only mega city which issues a comprehensive daily bulletin, independent of the state Covid bulletin, and continues to disclose daily testing data and other crucial data to the public. In July, insurance claims for Covid deaths and the total Covid deaths in Bengaluru Urban, are by and large in sync with the percentage of population covered with group or individual health insurance. This validates that there was limited under-reporting of Covid deaths in Bengaluru Urban.”

He added, “If the third wave arrives, the states and cities that reported correct data will have the least impact. On the other hand, the ones that are currently under-reporting to appease the political establishment and for electoral gain, may have to unfortunately identify new and bigger burial grounds, which we witnessed in some states during the second wave.”


Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp