Migrant workers from Bihar return to Patna from Kerala in a Shramik Special train from Ernakulam during the extended nationwide lockdown, on May 4, 2020.
Migrant workers from Bihar return to Patna from Kerala in a Shramik Special train from Ernakulam during the extended nationwide lockdown, on May 4, 2020.

India reports 194 more COVID-19 deaths as West Bengal updates its numbers

By Sonny Abraham/NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, May 5, 2020

India today reported 194 more coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths -- the most in a single day so far, largely as a result of reclassification and updating of data of the past few weeks by West Bengal under pressure from the Central Government, the Opposition and others.

The reclassification of data in West Bengal means that the number of deaths so far in the state has gone up by 98 from 35 on Monday to 133 today. This does not mean that 98 new deaths were reported in the past 24 hours but that the numbers of deaths over the past few weeks have been reclassified and updated.

The new numbers from West Bengal came after serious differences between it and the Central Government over the data about COVID-19 cases. In a bulletin issued yesterday, the state government has now put the number of deaths due to COVID-19 at 61 and also separately mentioned 72 deaths due to "co-morbidity". The deaths due to co-morbidity were not being counted as COVID-19-related deaths so far. However, the Union Ministry of Health and Welfare today combined the two numbers in the data released by it on the COVID-19 situation in the country.

Apart from the Central Government, doubts about the data from West Bengal were also raised by Opposition parties in the state and others.

With this, the toll in the country so far has risen to 1,583 even as the total number of infected persons in the country shot up by 3,875 -- the highest in a single day so far -- in the past 24 hours to 46,711.

Figures released by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare this evening showed that, apart from the updated numbers from West Bengal, 35 deaths were reported in Maharashtra, the worst-affected state, 29 in Gujarat, 11 in Madhya Pradesh, eight in Uttar Pradesh, six in Rajasthan, two each in Karnataka and Punjab and one each in Chandigarh, Haryana and Tamil Nadu.

Of the total 1,583 deaths so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest number at 583, followed by 319 in Gujarat, 176 in Madhya Pradesh, 133 in West Bengal, 77 in Rajasthan, 64 in Delhi, 53 in Uttar Pradesh, 36 in Andhra Pradesh, 31 in Tamil Nadu, 29 in Telangana, 28 in Karnataka, 23 in Punjab, eight in Jammu & Kashmir, six in Haryana, four each in Bihar and Kerala, three in Jharkhand, and one each in Assam, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Odisha and Uttarakhand.

The total of 46,711 cases includes those who have died as well as 13,161 patients who have recovered, which meant that the number of active cases in the country stood at 31,967 as of this evening, up 2,282 in the past 24 hours. The recovery rate of patients so far is 28.17%.

Of the total 46,711 cases so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest at 14,541, followed by 5,804 in Gujarat, 4,898 in Delhi, 3,550 in Tamil Nadu, 3,061 in Rajasthan, 3,049 in Madhya Pradesh, 2,859 in Uttar Pradesh, 1,717 in Andhra Pradesh, 1,259 in West Bengal, 1,233 in Punjab, 1,085 in Telangana, 726 in Jammu and Kashmir, 659 in Karnataka, 529 in Bihar, 517 in Haryana, 500 in Kerala, 170 in Odisha, 115 in Jharkhand, 102 in Chandigarh, 60 in Uttarakhand, 58 in Chhattisgarh, 43 in Assam, 41 each in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh, 33 in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, 29 in Tripura, 12 in Meghalaya, nine in Puducherry, seven in Goa, two in Manipur, and one each in Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.

The total number of cases includes 111 foreigners, the Ministry said.

As the highest increase so far in the number of confirmed cases and deaths has been reported in the last 24 hours, the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare today advised States and Union Territories to effectively implement contact tracing, active case search and clinical management of cases.