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
September 19,2021

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Chandigarh, Sept 19: Charanjit Singh Channi - a Dalit Sikh and the outgoing Technical Education Minister - will be the new Chief Minister of Punjab, the Congress said Sunday evening, after Amarinder Singh's resignation yesterday triggered three days of high drama in the poll-bound state.

The choice of Mr Channi as leader of the Congress' state legislature party, and the head of its government, was confirmed by state-in-charge Harish Rawat, who tweeted: "It gives me immense pleasure to announce that Charanjit Singh Channi has been unanimously elected as the Leader of the Congress Legislature Party of Punjab."

News of Mr Channi's appointment came as something of a surprise after sources, just a few hours earlier, appeared to confirm that another outgoing minister - Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa - would be named to the top post.

Mr Randhawa's name, however, was reportedly met with doubts by some party MLAs and the Congress high command - keen to ensure the new Chief Minister has the maximum internal support - quickly switched tack.

"I am happy with high command's decision.... I want to thank all the MLAs who have supported me. Channi is my brother..." Mr Randhawa said soon after Charanjit Channi was announced as Chief Minister.

Months of sniping and hostility between Amarinder Singh and Navjot Sidhu came to a head late Friday after a sudden meeting of Congress MLAs. Sources said around 50 of the party's 80 MLAs wrote to Sonia Gandhi and asked for Mr Singh to be replaced.

A furious Mr Singh then spoke to Mrs Gandhi and told her he had had enough. "I was humiliated three times by Congress leadership..." he said. He wrote to Mrs Gandhi declaring himself "anguished" and to defend his administration's track record.

The Captain also said that though he had resigned, "... for the sake of my country, I'll oppose his (Navjot Sidhu) name for Chief Minister. It's a matter of national security... is an incompetent man... a total disaster..." Of further worry for the Congress, perhaps, was Mr Singh's response to staying with the party; "I can't answer right now."

This morning's meeting of the Congress Legislature Party was postponed after Rajya Sabha MP Ambika Soni - believed to be the party's first choice - declined the offer. Ms Soni said "no" at a late-night meeting with Rahul Gandhi; she stressed on the "ramifications" of a non-Sikh Chief Minister, particularly with an election due.

The Singh-Sidhu feud dates to the 2017 election; Mr Sidhu had hoped to be Deputy Chief Minister but was reportedly denied by Mr Singh. He was instead made a minister but quit two years later. After a sulk he re-emerged, targeting Mr Singh and becoming a hard-to-ignore problem, forcing the party into a mediation attempt that soured after Mr Singh voiced disapproval at Mr Sidhu being made Punjab Congress chief.

The rift escalated sharply in recent weeks and a tenuous truce unravelled after statements by Mr Sidhu's advisers. Last month, four ministers and around 24 MLAs raised fresh complaints against Mr Singh, setting the stage for the weekend's drama.

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News Network
September 7,2021

Mangaluru: In the wake of the resurfacing of Nipah virus in Kerala, an alert has been declared in Karnataka's coastal district of Dakshina Kannada. Deputy commissioner 
KV Rajendra has appealed to people to be cautious.

"A 12-year-old boy died of Nipah virus infection in Kozhokode district of Kerala on September 3. Since Dakshina Kannada district shares its border with Kerala and a large number of people commute for health and education purposes, a Nipah alert has been announced. Officials concerned should take all necessary precautionary measures,” the DC said.

Nipah is a zoonotic virus transmitted from animals to humans and can also be transmitted directly between people. 

It can cause a range of illnesses from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis besides fever, headache, cough and throat pain. Wash hands using detergents frequently and stay away from bats and pigs that cause the spread of virus. 

Do not use fruits that were partly eaten by birds and animals. Inform the health department immediately if any person was found experiencing symptoms of Nipah, the DC said.

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News Network
September 9,2021

Kabul, Sept 9: Cricket Australia said Thursday it would have "no alternative" but to cancel hosting a historic Test match against Afghanistan unless the Taliban backtracks on a reported ban on women playing sport.

The governing body said the first ever men's Test between the two nations was under serious threat after the deputy head of the Taliban's cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, reportedly said women would not play cricket or any other sport under the new regime.

"I don't think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket," Wasiq told Australian broadcaster SBS on Wednesday.

"In cricket, they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered. Islam does not allow women to be seen like this.

"It is the media era, and there will be photos and videos, and then people watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed."

The Taliban said shortly after taking power that the schedule for the Afghanistan men's team would not be interrupted, leading Cricket Australia to announce earlier this month it still hoped to host the landmark match on November 27.

On Thursday, Cricket Australia said driving the growth of women's cricket globally was "incredibly important" to the organisation.

"Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level," it said.

"If recent media reports that women's cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but to not host Afghanistan for the proposed Test Match due to be played in Hobart."

During their first stint in power, the Taliban banned most forms of entertainment -- including many sports -- and stadiums doubled as public execution venues.

Despite promising to enforce a less strict version of Islamic law this time, the United Nations says women in Afghanistan are being prohibited from leaving home without a male family member and in some areas stopped from working. 

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