TN corona count at 38,716; CM denies underreporting of deaths

Chennai, June 11 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu health department said on Thursday that 1,875 persons have tested positive for coronavirus in the past 24 hours, while 22 persons have succumbed to the dreaded virus and 1,372 patients have been cured and discharged from the hospitals.

In a statement issued here, the health department said that 1,875 persons have tested positive for coronavirus in the past 24 hours, taking the state's tally to 38,716. The total number of active cases in the state stood at 17,659.

On Thursday, 16,829 samples were tested, taking the total to 6.55 lakh. Testing of 642 samples is under process. The number of infected children in the age group of 0-12 years has gone up to 1,999.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami ruled out any deliberate underreporting of Covid-19 death cases. He said there is nothing to hide and the death figures cannot be hidden.

Nevertheless, the work on reconciliation of Covid-19 death figures in Chennai has begun with the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC).

The move came following discrepancies noticed in the toll, after it was estimated that deaths at individual homes due to the virus was perhaps going under reported.

“An expert committee has been constituted and it will go into the details of the data submitted by the GCC,” T.S. Selvavinayagam, Director, Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, told IANS.

He said the members of the committee will get the data from GCC.

The GCC in its turn will be collecting the data from its burial grounds located in different parts of the city.

The Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine has also written to GCC to submit Covid-19 deaths from March onwards.

According to GCC officials, data from its burial grounds are being collected to check the Covid-19 toll so far.

While officials do not want to speculate on the number of unreported Covid-19 deaths in the city, there are reports that the number is over 250.

The health department has been announcing the death of Covid-19 patients who were admitted to hospitals — government and private.

However, the deaths that happened at homes due to Covid-19 symptoms were not included as they were not reported.

Officials said the difference in numbers may be due to communication gap between the different agencies.

Selvavinayagam also said that if there are cases of non-reporting of Covid-19 deaths in other parts of the state, reconciliation of that data will also be done.

Officials said that underreporting of data in districts may not be there as the number of officially notified deaths are low.

They also said that there may be time lag in reporting the Covid-19 death numbers by different government agencies.

Tamil Nadu has been claiming that the Covid-19 death rate in the state is about 0.8 per cent.

If the said unreported Covid-19 deaths are to be added to the total tally, then there may be an increase in the death percentage.



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