HYDERABAD: The first wave of Covid-19 may have spared the districts of Telangana, but that wasn’t the case with the second wave, which tore into the towns and villages beyond GHMC limits. An RTI filed by Express seeking the number of death certificates issued by the Nizamabad Municipal Corporation (NMC) shows a three-fold increase in deaths during three months of the second wave, as compared to the previous years.
In 2020, during three months from April to June, 487 deaths were reported. This increased to a whopping 1,549 deaths during the same three months in 2021, when the second wave peaked in the State, indicating a three-fold increase in deaths. The number of deaths registered in these three months from 2017 to 2020 does not show too much variance. In 2017, 398 deaths were recorded, 392 in 2018, 519 in 2019 and 487 in 2020.
The increase in the number of deaths during the three months from August to October in 2020, when the first wave was at its peak in Telangana, is not as pronounced as it was during the second wave. During these months, there were 404 deaths in 2017, followed by 370 in 2018, 635 in 2019 and 968 in 2020. While the second wave brought about a three-fold increase in deaths from the earlier year, the increase by the first wave between 2019 and 2020 is merely about 1.5 times.
Though not all these deaths were a result of Covid-19, the pandemic did play a major role in causing abnormally high number of deaths, both directly and indirectly. Lack of access to non-Covid services during a pandemic, undiagnosed Covid deaths and black fungus cases would have added to the tally.
Nizamabad was an epicentre of Covid during April and May this year. While it is only one town of one district, it is a microcosm showing the spread of Covid-19.