India sees biggest spike in COVID deaths after state revises toll

The world’s highest single-day toll reported after Bihar state revises figures to account for deaths at home or in private hospitals.

India has reported its highest ever single-day death toll from COVID-19 – 6,148 deaths – after an eastern state revised its figures to account for people who succumbed to the disease at home or in private hospitals.

The health department of Bihar, one of India’s poorest states, revised its total COVID-related death toll on Wednesday to more than 9,400 from about 5,400.

The United States recorded 5,444 COVID-19 deaths on February 12.

India’s total COVID caseload now stands at nearly 29.2 million after rising by 94,052 in the past 24 hours, while total fatalities are at 359,676, according to data from the health ministry.

The country has recorded fewer than 100,000 daily new COVID cases for three straight days. Active cases stand at nearly 1.17 million, according to the ministry.

Bihar revised its toll after the regional High Court asked for an audit of casualties during the second wave of the coronavirus in April and May.

The court’s order followed allegations that the state government was hiding the scale of infections and deaths.

An audit of deaths revealed that while 1,600 people died of COVID in Bihar between March 2020 and March 2021, the number of deaths from April to June 7 this year was a staggering 7,775, about six times more, India’s NDTV reported.

State capital Patna bore the brunt of the outbreak, accounting for a total of 2,303 deaths, media reports said.

A total of 242.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered nationwide, including 3.4 million over the last 24 hours, the health ministry said.

India has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after the US. It stands third behind the US and Brazil in terms of COVID deaths.

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