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Covid-19 Highlights: Mumbai records 155 COVID-19 cases, one death; North Korea reports 6 deaths after admitting outbreak


A healthcare worker collects a swab sample from a passenger for Covid-19 testing amid a surge in coronavirus cases, at a railway station in Prayagraj, Tuesday. (PTI)

Shanghai will try again to reopen in a few days after it has eliminated COVID-19 transmission among the population at large as an outbreak in China’s largest city subsides, an official said Friday. The strict lockdown of the city — now in its seventh week but moved, lifted and reinforced at times to the frustration of residents — is part of the ruling Communist Party’s “zero-COVID” goal that has exacted a mounting economic toll and that even the World Health Organization says may be unsustainable.

India witnessed a slight dip in new cases, with 2,827 new Coronavirus infections registered on Thursday. Meanwhile, 24 patients succumbed to the infection since yesterday.

The European Union will no longer require masks to be worn at airports and on planes starting next week amid the easing of coronavirus restrictions across the bloc, authorities said Wednesday. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency said it hoped the joint decision, made with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, would mark “a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel” for passengers and crews, AP reported.

India numbers up, but UP death registrations fell in pandemic year

While the trend of increasing registrations of deaths in India continued in 2020 as well, Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous state, saw a big drop, despite the fact that the total number of deaths would probably have risen due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to data from the Civil Registration System (CRS), Uttar Pradesh registered 8.73 lakh deaths in 2020, down from 9.44 lakh deaths registered in 2019.

Kerala, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Delhi also saw a drop in death registrations in 2020 as compared to the previous year. In fact, in percentage terms, Telangana registered a 11 per cent decline as compared to a 7.5 per cent fall in UP.

Why there’s no agreement on India’s Covid death figures

With the images from the Covid pandemic, of burning pyres and floating bodies, still fresh in our minds, the current debate on the magnitude of mortality during 2020 and 2021 looks surreal and unsympathetic. There are two extreme positions. One, that the government is showcasing the whole episode as yet another successful management effort by underreporting the number, and the other, that is projecting India to be the biggest contributor to the death pool globally by using fragmented data and macro-level modelling. By deaths per thousand population, India, however, does not figure among the top 100 countries, though the infection fatality rate of 1.2 per cent places it in seventh position globally.

As accurate death statistics by causes is hard to come by — around 70 per cent of deaths take place at homes even in normal times — attempts have been made to estimate the Covid deaths by identifying “excess” deaths over what would have been the number otherwise. There are conceptual issues involved since deaths due to starvation, returnee migrants miseries, those linked to the lockdown, unemployment, and other ailments not receiving medical help due to pressure on the system, are not due to Covid, but are part of excess deaths. Also, the Supreme Court’s decision to consider all deaths within three months of Covid infliction as Covid deaths resulted in a surge in reporting. Similarly, the lives saved due to the lockdown and measures adopted by people to protect themselves from the virus and those who would have died due to other causes had there been no Covid, would have to be taken on the positive side, increasing the discrepancy between Covid and excess death.





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