Maharashtra government hasn't hidden number of COVID-19 deaths: Rajesh Tope

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday asserted that the state government has not hidden the number of COVID-19 deaths.

Talking to media persons over reports that 11,000 fatalities in the state have not been reported as COVID-19 deaths, Tope said the government was functioning in a transparent manner.

“Every district has private and government COVID-19 hospitals. The update on coronavirus deaths in government hospitals is done regularly, while the update from private hospitals is delayed and hence there is a discrepancy in the numbers. All private hospitals have been asked to submit their list of COVID-19 deaths regularly,” he said.

The minister said that the health department has directed the chief civil surgeon in all districts that if the death updates are not done regularly, action would be taken.

The portal is updated by data entry operators and unfortunately, the update is sometimes not done on time, Tope added.

When asked about the vaccination drive from June 21 for 18 years and above age group, the minister said he had urged the Centre to allocate vaccines to Maharashtra based on its population and number of COVID-19 cases.

“The vaccine allocation policy will be announced in two days, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has told me over the phone,” he said.

Maharashtra on Thursday reported 12,207 coronavirus positive cases and 393 fatalities, which took the state’s infection count to 58,76,087 and the death toll to 1,03,748.