BHUBANESWAR: With 58 deaths on Monday, the State climbed to No 3 position in the country’s Covid death toll map leaving behind 10 other states. This is one of its highest single day toll during the second wave of the pandemic.
After Maharashtra and Kerala, Odisha was the third State to contribute majorly to the Covid toll of the country. The three states have been accounting for nearly 75 per cent of the fatalities reported daily for the past more than a week.
Even as the Health department has put out a disclaimer that the toll does not reflect deaths occurring on a particular day and is announced after the completion of death audit, health experts termed it a faulty strategy.
Former ICMR consultant Dr Tribhuban Mohan Mohapatra said the death numbers announced now are actually of May and June when daily cases ranged from 8,000 to 12,000.
"When the bodies of Covid patients were in queue at crematoriums, the government figures did not cross 20. Now, as the cases are down and cremation grounds are less stressed, Odisha is among the top-three states. This has exposed the faulty model adopted by the State," he pointed out.
Going by the fresh figures, the death toll due to the virus has reached 5,116. The audited fatalities, however, do not include people who died due to co-morbid conditions after being affected with Covid-19 and the complications after recovering from the disease, and also those with Covid symptoms who died on the way to the hospital. If all those deaths are calculated, the number would be at least three times more, experts observed.
Meanwhile,1,648 more people tested positive for the infection pushing the tally to 9,55,974. Cuttack district reported the highest number of new cases at 335, followed by Khurda (230) and Jajpur (113).
Khurda district recorded the highest 19 deaths. Director of Public Health Dr Niranjan Mishra said the audit was delayed as the doctors entrusted with the work were busy in containment and treatment of patients. The backlog is being cleared now, he added.