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IIndia on Thursday set a world record of more than 6,000 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours after a state dramatically revised its data upwards, fueling suspicions that the country’s toll is much higher than reported .
According to figures from the Ministry of Health, 6,148 people have died in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to nearly 360,000, the third highest in the world.
The total is more than double the number of people who died on September 11 and four times the UK’s highest daily Covid-19 death toll of 1,325.
The previous world record according to an AFP tally was 5,527 in the United States on February 12, although that was also due to an upward revision in previous deaths.
The eastern state of Bihar on Wednesday raised the death toll from around 4,000 to nearly 9,500 after reviewing death records, officials said.
Bihar’s high court in Patna has demanded an audit of the figures after allegations the local government was hiding the scale of infections and deaths.
Similar charges have been leveled against other state governments after a recent wave of coronavirus saw crematoriums submerged in many places and hundreds of bodies dumped in rivers or buried in shallow graves.
With poor record keeping even under normal circumstances, many experts believe India’s death toll is several times higher than the official number, meaning it could exceed one million, making it the highest in the world.
Suspicions have been heightened by the fact that death rates in many countries, for example Brazil and the United States, are several times higher than in India.