Why is the govt underreporting COVID deaths all over India?

Mafazah Sharafuddin
May 5, 2021

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There have been several claims of undercounting the number of COVID deaths on the part of the government. This is a result of several factors, but most significantly, the number of corpses piling up in crematoriums and burial grounds. According to those who run crematoriums, the number of deaths due to COVID sent for cremation is much higher than what is disclosed by the government.
 
This issue isn’t limited to any one state, as there have been reports of the same in several states, including Karnataka, UP and the capital, Delhi. The crisis of having too many bodies and insufficient means to dispose of them is making people notice. NGOs are helping with cremations outside crematoriums, in parks etc. The crematoriums themselves are working towards building more cremation platforms. 

People running burial grounds and crematoriums are not turning people away. This has led to long queues for the same. In an interview with NDTV, a man who had lost his father to COVID said, “Earlier we were struggling to get oxygen, now we are struggling for cremation. The Government is useless.”

The owners of certain crematoriums state that those who die at home are not reported as COVID deaths in an official capacity, despite having succumbed to COVID. Several people are at home due to a lack of hospital beds and oxygen. They are being turned away from the hospitals. 

There have been mixed reactions to these claims. Most state governments are paying it no heed, and continuing to report deaths as they did prior to it. Adithyanath, however, has reacted with having the open sides of Rajghat covered up with cloth and plastic banners. This blocks the view to the cremation grounds and any bodies that might be piling up there. The banners claim that photography and videography of the cremations within the grounds would be considered criminal activity. It cites religious sanctity as its reason. 

The situation is dire. Overwhelming evidence states that the number of deaths of people diagnosed with COVID may be much higher than that being reported. This does not even begin to count the fact that there are plenty of people unable to get tested. This paints a truly grim picture of the COVID situation in India. 

The Madras HC on Monday severely reprimanded the Election Commission for allowing campaign rallies to take place during the pandemic. They went as far to say “Your institution is singularly responsible for the second wave of Covid-19. Election Commission officers should be booked on murder charges probably.”

The Co-Win portal and the announcement of vaccines for those aged 18-44 followed by the lack of production is another factor causing people to raise their voice. There are far too many accusations of improper administration for it to be brushed off without address. 

A report in the Financial Times stated that the, “numbers of Covid victims who have been cremated are 10x larger than official Covid death counts in same areas.” The state India is in is capturing global attention. 

The situation right now calls for many questions. What are the true numbers? How many decisions, like the EC’s decision to give parties the go ahead, were promoted by political reasons? How many were financially motivated? Where does public welfare stand among the list of reasons?

The glaring question, of course, is why?

Why is the government underreporting the COVID deaths all over the country?

The number of deaths, the state of the hospitals, the lack of vaccines, and the political rallies etc. all point towards one thing. Inefficient administration. The possibility that the underreporting is a ploy by the government to seem like they have a better handle on the situation is becoming more and more likely. 

It isn’t a new concept for governments to cover up things leading up to the election. There are thousands of cartoons that just speak about deceit before the election. 

It is an insidious idea, but that does not make it less likely. This is a matter of national and global importance. Underreporting the deaths due to COVID could skew research studying the fatality of this wave of the virus. It is also vital that the citizen see the gravity of the situation. The government must address the disparity in the numbers and provide clarity to the citizens.

Comments

MOHAMED S SULTAN
 - 
Friday, 7 May 2021

This is man made problem.
We(You) paid very dearly as the consequences of choosing our governments.
At least learn from this UNFORGETTABLE LESSON, what type of party and leaders you have to select for ruling.

costly lesson, never ever forget and pass it to all generations until end of the planet.

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News Network
January 23,2023

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New Delhi, Jan 23: Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Monday agreed to consider urgent listing of the Hijab row case after petitioners cited the need for immediate hearing as students need to attend college exams in Karnataka.

A three-judge bench is likely to hear the matter.

Two judges on a Supreme Court bench in October 2022 had delivered opposing verdicts in the hijab controversy, and asked the Chief Justice to constitute an appropriate bench to adjudicate in the case that stemmed from a ban on wearing the Islamic head covering in Karnataka education institutes.

On March 15,2022, Karnataka High Court had dismissed the petitions filed by a section of Muslim students of Government Pre-University Girls College in Karnataka's Udupi seeking permission to wear the hijab inside classrooms, ruling it is not a part of the essential religious practice in Islamic faith.

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News Network
January 27,2023

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Bengaluru, Jan 27: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said the state government-run residential schools, which have completed 10 years, will have colleges offering pre-university courses (PUC) on their premises from the next academic year.

These residential schools will also have to conduct competitive examinations amongst students so that they are prepared for such challenges once they complete their education and go out in search of jobs, Bommai said.

The Chief Minister also asked the social welfare department to give up its "tendency of spending money only constructing school buildings to gratify contractors".

Instead, the focus should be on improving the quality of education. "Start the Pre-University Colleges from next year in those schools which have completed 10 years and the students are in 10th standard,” Bommai said after inaugurating 'Science Expo-2023' of the Karnataka Residential Education Institution Society (KREIS) at the Palace Grounds here.

According to Bommai, the "quality education will not continue" if the students have to go to various other schools after completing 10th standard because the competitive examinations for them start after completing their Pre-University education. Hence, the students have to continue their PUC education from the same residential school, he said.

"Conduct competitive exams in these schools among the children. We have provided them a level playing field to find out the shortcomings among the children so that it can be set right and their capacity is increased," the Chief Minister said. Bommai pointed out that the children studying in the Morarji Desai Residential Schools and similar other residential schools run by the state government are quite sharp who got admission by scoring above 60 per cent to 70 per cent.

He said the target of the government is to ensure that these students score 90 per cent by the time they complete their education.

The Chief Minister took a swipe at the tendency of spending more money on constructing buildings, which benefits contractors. "We spend thousands of crores of rupees on these institutions. We are spending more on buildings and compound walls," Bommai said and insisted that the focus should be on the "requirements" of the students studying in these residential schools.

Bommai said, "Stop giving money to the contractors. Change that model itself." According to him, the spending on building schools had started from Rs five crore, which escalated to Rs 10 crore and Rs 14 crore and now it has reached a stage where the government spends Rs 30 crore on each school. "Spend Rs 30 crore on the arrangements (facilities) for children. On the one hand government money is draining and on the other, the arrangements required for the children are not happening," the Chief Minister said.

Bommai blamed the previous governments which he alleged had been splurging money on building schools, instead of improving quality of education. "This is a legacy that has come from the past from the previous governments to take up 'contractor-based civil works' due to which we have reached this stage," he said. Stating that children belonging to the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backwards castes study in these schools, Bommai said it was the duty of the government to make sure about the quality of education.

He instructed officials to give him a list of shortcomings in the schools and assured that the government will give grants. Bommai also directed officials to visit schools instead of "running administration" from Bengaluru. 

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News Network
January 23,2023

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Mangaluru, Jan 23: The Congress has released a 10-point manifesto for the coastal region ahead of the Assembly elections in Karnataka which focuses on creation of jobs, attracting investments, development of tourism and creating harmony in society.

The charter was announced by Opposition Leader in the Legislative Council B K Hariprasad at the Prajadhwani Yatra event held at Karavali Utsava ground in Mangaluru on Sunday night.

Mr Hariprasad said a Karavali Development Authority with a budget of ₹ 2,500 crore will be constituted for the development of the region.

He said Congress will make Mangaluru the next IT capital and a garment industry hub of India, creating a new paradigm of development along with the aim to create a lakh jobs in the region.

Assembly elections in Karnataka are scheduled by May this year.

Former chief minister Siddaramaiah, who spoke at the function, said the Congress will not only make promises but it also knows how to deliver them with adequate release of funds.

He alleged that the BJP only tries to hypnotise people with lies and they are keen on dividing people based on religion and caste. The state government is steeped in corruption and that is why contractors named it as a 40 per cent commission government, he charged.

KPCC president D K Shivakumar said the BJP could not fulfil the promises made in the last elections. The Congress aims to bring a change in governance and are confident that the party will attain majority in the coming elections, he added.

AICC general secretary Randeep Sujrewala, who also spoke, alleged that BJP has turned the coastal belt into a factory of communalism and it is time to give an apt answer to their false deeds.

"When we speak about price rise, the BJP speaks about Hindus and Muslims. We try to connect people but they disconnect people," Mr Surjewala said.

Manifesto committee president G Parameshwara expressed confidence that the Congress will come back to power in the state. The party brought a separate poll manifesto for the coastal region to bring about change, he said.

Senior leader and former Union Minister Janardhan Poojary, former MLAs Mohiyuddin Bava, Ramanath Rai, Abhayachandra jain, Vinay Kumar Sorake and several Congress leaders from the twin coastal districts were present at the event.

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