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Mumbai, June 16, 2020
In a stunning development, the COVID-19 death toll in Maharashtra has jumped by 1,328 after a detailed reconciliation of fatalities in Mumbai and other parts of the state in the past few weeks, Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta said here on Tuesday.
With this, the state toll has shot up from 4,128 to zoom beyond the 5,000-mark to touch 5,456 deaths.
From these 1,328 new fatalities, Mumbai alone accounts for 862, increasing the city's COVID-19 toll from 2,250 to 3,112 now.
Similarly, Thane has 146 new deaths on record, pushing up the toll from 480 to 626 now.
Pune has 85 new fatalities added to its current death toll of 494, shooting up the total to 579, pushing it to the third slot behind Thane now.
The development came a day after Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging fudging of figures of deaths by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Last week, the state government had ordered all concerned medical authorities to complete the reconciliation of the COVID-19 deaths by June 15.
Fadnavis had accused the BMC of a "cover-up" by suppressing around 950 deaths which was a gross violation of ICMR guidelines.
"Before announcing any COVID-19 related deaths, it is examined by the Death Audit Committee formed by the BMC. We have noticed that there are at least 451 recent deaths that were not declared as COVID-19 deaths. As per the ICMR guidelines, there were COVID-19 deaths, but the DAC showed them as non-COVID-19 deaths. Besides, there are another 500 COVID-19 deaths that were not reported to DAC," Fadnavis said.
After the state government declared the latest figures, Fadnavis tweeted: "It is my sincere request to the state government that please don't ignore this entire episode of criminal negligence in the name of reconciliation of numbers. These figures were suppressed for the last three months."