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Government sources contradict Lancet’s claims, say India has a strong system for recording births and deaths, reports ET HealthWorld

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India has robust system of documenting births and deaths, say Govt sources on Lancet's claims, ET HealthWorld

In a recent development, the medical journal Lancet has raised concerns about the accuracy and transparency of data on health shared by India. Government sources have responded, asserting that India maintains a robust system of documenting births and deaths through the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, using the Civil Registration System (CRS).

Under the CRS, deaths are reported to the registrar of births and deaths in the respective area for registration through approximately three lakh registration units nationwide. While births and deaths are ideally required to be reported within 21 days of occurrence, the Act allows for late registrations as well.

The Lancet questioned India’s official claim that only 0.48 million people have died due to the COVID-19 pandemic, citing estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other sources that suggest a much higher number, possibly six to eight times larger. Government sources have refuted these claims, mentioning that every state generates a report within one year after the index calendar year to accommodate late reporting and compile data.

Moreover, the sources highlighted that more than 90 percent of births and deaths are now registered online on state or national portals, showing the maturity of the civil registration system. With increasing awareness and ownership, the registration process has become more inclusive over the years.

The government’s emphasis on the efficiency and inclusivity of the registration system aims to address concerns raised by Lancet and uphold the transparency and accuracy of health data in India.

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