The door-to-door IPHS, planned to cover the entire 3.5 crore population of the state, was restricted to the rural areas and eventually covered 2.56 crore people, almost three-fourths of the population.
The survey was conducted between May 25 and June 5 with the help of over 80,000 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwives), and Community Health Officers (CHOs).
Arun Singh, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Jharkhand said, “More than 25,000 deaths were recorded during the survey. We, however, still do not know what caused these deaths. We have now initiated another exercise to ascertain the cause of the deaths recorded in the survey.” Officially, the state has said, there were 3,864 deaths due to Covid-19 during April-May this year.
“Two points are noteworthy:
i) In the normal year 2019, the number of deaths officially registered was as high as 17,819. You have to understand that a door-to-door survey will always allow for a very good capture of death data. ii) Unlike, in urban areas, deaths are not necessarily registered in rural areas,” said an official. The officials involved with the survey also pointed out that some deaths, recorded in the IPHS, could be linked to Covid-19.
The two primary objectives of the survey were:
i) to spread awareness, test for Covid-19, provide advice on medication and prevent the spread of the pandemic.
ii) to count the deaths in rural areas as there were concerns that deaths were not being recorded.