The second wave of COVID-19 in India was more horrifying than reported

A man preparing a dead body died due to COVID infection for cremation (Source: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

The second wave of the deadly coronavirus hit India harder than the first wave and the country witnessed horrifying figures that explain this unfortunate period. During April & May, the hospitals in Delhi & Mumbai were flooded with covid infected patients and the number of deaths was rising every day.

According to the records issued by the Ministry of Health & Family welfare, India witnessed more than 2,00,000 deaths during the second wave of the pandemic that hit us like a storm. ICMR follows the World Health Organization’s principle that authorities be as liberal as possible in recording Covid-19 deaths.

But, the data accumulated by the journalists working on the ground say a different story which is way worse. Rukmini S, a data journalist reported these unofficial records of the death toll and the covid infected cases in India during the second wave. Recent works published by her in Scroll and Dainik Bhaskar mentioned that in reality, these guidelines are not being followed. Officials from several states have told one of that only death of persons who tested positive before death and died soon after of causes easily identified with Covid-19 were being counted as Covid deaths.

The actual figures could be way more than the reported deaths and there are some significant reasons behind this claim. Rukmini S claims that there are three possible sources of “missed” Covid-19 deaths. One, the deaths of Covid positive people could be recorded as non-Covid deaths or missed entirely especially if they take place at home. Two, the deaths of Covid positive people who are never tested may not be recorded as Covid deaths. Three, the deaths of Covid positive people could be intentionally suppressed to keep counts low.

There are also several reports available from journalists across the country which back these claims after conducting thorough research and groundwork from crematoria and hospitals. These claims point out the fact that the actual story of the second wave of the pandemic in India was more horrifying than reported.