NEW DELHI: The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) issued over 20,000 death certificates between April and June when the national capital was reeling under the second wave of Covid-19. Municipal officials attributed the increase in death registrations to the second wave of the pandemic and clearing of backlog data.
The figure presents a stark contrast to the data collated from Delhi government’s daily health bulletin, according to which 13,931 people succumbed to the viral infection between April 1 and June 30 in the national capital.
The SDMC’s data includes only those under its jurisdiction. However, these figures include both Covid and non-Covid deaths for the same period. According to data provided by the SDMC, it issued 3,351 death certificates in April, 10,209 in May and 6,832 in June.
“As compared to April, the number of death certificates is about 204 per cent higher in May because of the Covid-19 second wave. The figure in June is about 103 per cent higher than that of April,” SDMC officials said. Since maximum deaths occurred either in May or in the last leg of April during the second wave, most families of deceased who applied for death certificates got the documents in May and June.
Other than the second wave, there was a backlog of data due to technical issues and it was cleared in May and June, leading to a rise in the numbers of death registrations, the officials claimed. Even though the month of May saw the highest number of issuance of death certificates between April and June, the month witnessed the lowest number of allotment of birth certificates in the corresponding period.
Municipal records show that only 4,656 birth certificates were issued in May, while the figure was 5,997 in April and 4,976 in June. Officials suggested that the decline in birth certificates may be due to the reduction in institutional births such as those in hospitals, maternity centres because of the pandemic.
“During the second wave, people preferred not to visit hospitals for deliveries due to the possibility of getting infected. This might have given rise to home births and hence a drop in the registrations,” officials said.