As per the Report on Medical Certification of Cause of Death-2020 released by the Office of the Registrar General of India (RGI) on Wednesday, COVID-19 was the reason behind 8.9% (or 1,60,618 deaths) of the 18.11 lakh medically certified deaths in India.
An earlier report by the Office of the RGI had noted that India registered 81.16 lakh deaths in 2020, about 6% higher than in 2019.
The report on medically certified deaths highlighted that COVID-19 was the 'fourth biggest cause of the medically certified deaths in 2020.' At the same time, it rose to be the second in seven states- namely, Maharashtra (17.7%), Manipur (15.7%), Uttar Pradesh (15%), Himachal Pradesh (13.5%), Andhra Pradesh (12%), Punjab (11.9%) and Jharkhand (7.6%).
COVID-19 as a cause of death was added for data collection once the pandemic broke out in March 2020 in India under two sub-heads.
In the first, the code' virus identified' was used for a "disease diagnosis of COVID 19 confirmed by laboratory testing." In the second, the code' virus not identified' was assigned to "a clinical or epidemiological diagnosis of COVID 19 where laboratory confirmation is inconclusive or not available." The report identified the virus in 1,38,713 out of 1,60,618 COVID deaths; it was unidentified in 21,905 cases.
The state-wise data on most COVID deaths in absolute numbers had Maharashtra with the highest number of deaths. The state reported 61,212 COVID deaths.
It was followed by Uttar Pradesh (16,489), Karnataka (15,476), Andhra Pradesh (12,193) and Delhi (8,744). As per the report, Arunachal Pradesh and Union territory Lakshadweep did not report any COVID deaths during the period.