India’s Covid-19 deaths rose faster in 2021 compared to 2020, and so far this year the country has already registered 42,207 deaths.
India reported 332,492 deaths due to Covid-19 in 2021, up from 148,994 during 2020, according to the Civil Registration System (CRS) report 2020 released by the Centre on Tuesday. At a time when reports claim that India has raised concerns around methodology used by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on reporting Covid-19 deaths by various countries, the publication of the CRS report is significant.
So far the country has reported 523,693 deaths in all due to Covid-19. Speaking to Business Standard, Atul Koswal, ED, National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC), pointed out that the higher number of Covid-19 deaths in 2021 were due to various factors. These included the second wave which was led by the Delta variant, and reduction in Covid-19 appropriate behaviour in the general population. The caused greater vulnerability ad people with co-morbidities got infected.
Koswal explained that during 2020, the entire nation was under lockdown for several months, and people were following Covid-19 appropriate behaviour seriously. “During 2020 most people with co-morbidities stayed indoors, and thereby were more protected from getting the Covid19 infection,” he added.
According to CRS, overall death registration (including deaths due to Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 deaths) has increased by 475,000 in 2020 over 2019.
Koswal further highlighted that deaths per thousand population have come down over the decades, from 14.9 deaths per thousand in 1971 to six in 2020. This is at a time when overall death registrations have risen. “Now death registration is compulsory for property transfers, insurance claims etc, and we are thus capturing more deaths,” Koswal said.
VK Paul, member NITI Aayog said on television that the CRS report is based on data from the ground level and data from across districts etc are captured meticulously. This information base of birth and death registration is a pillar of public policy, he added.
There was an increase of 487,000 and 690,000 death registrations in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The number of registered deaths has increased from 7.64 million in 2019 to 8.12 million in 2020. Males had a 60.2 per cent share of the total registered deaths, while females had a 39.8 per cent share.
Registered births, the data said, dipped from 24.8 million in 2019 to 24.2 million in 2020, a drop of about 2.4 per cent.
Some states and union territories (UTs) namely Maharashtra, Bihar, Gujarat, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Assam, and Haryana have contributed significantly in the increased number of deaths registered from 2019 to 2020.
In the case of registered births, there has been a fall in 2020 in almost all states and UTs except Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh compared to 2019.
Eleven States and UTs namely Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Delhi, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala and West Bengal have contributed significantly to the decrease in registered births in 2020 over 2019.
(With Inputs from PTI)