‘India's actual covid death toll at least 3 million – nearly 10 times the official toll’

Agencies
July 21, 2021

The number of people who have died in the coronavirus pandemic in India is likely to exceed 3 million — nearly 10 times the official Covid-19 death toll — making it one of the worst human tragedies in the country’s history, according to a new study.

In an examination of the true toll of the pandemic in the sprawling country of 1.4 billion, the Center for Global Development, a Washington research institute, attempted to quantify excess deaths from all causes during the pandemic based on state data, international estimates, serological studies and household surveys.

“True deaths are likely to be in the several millions, not hundreds of thousands, making this arguably India’s worst human tragedy,” said its authors, one of whom is a former chief economic adviser to the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The official government numbers have been called into question repeatedly. Even as funeral pyres lit up the night sky and bodies washed up along the Ganges River, with death all around, the government was widely underreporting the scale of the devastation.

A chorus of experts have said the country’s official estimates are a gross understatement.

The study released Tuesday estimated that between 3.4 and 4.7 million more people than would normally be expected died between January 2020 and June 2021, and includes an estimate suggesting that deaths from Covid-19 may have reached 4 million.

“Estimating Covid deaths with statistical confidence may prove elusive,” the authors wrote. “But all estimates suggest that the death toll from the pandemic is likely to be an order of magnitude greater than the official count of 400,000; they also suggest that the first wave was more lethal than is believed.”

The authors said the undercount of death after the first wave of infections last year may have resulted, in part, from the fact that it was “spread out in time,” as opposed to the sharp curve of the second wave when hundreds of thousands of people died amid shortages of oxygen, beds and vaccines.

The study has said that the country’s inability to grasp the “scale of the tragedy in real time” during its first wave from March 2020 to February 2021 may have caused “the collective complacency that led to the horrors of the second wave.”

At the height of the second wave, interviews by New York Times reporters at cremation grounds in India exposed an extensive pattern of deaths far exceeding the official figures.

Nervous politicians and hospital administrators may also have undercounted or overlooked large numbers of dead, analysts said. And grieving families may be hiding Covid connections as well, out of shame, adding to the confusion.

India is still reporting nearly 40,000 new cases and about 500 deaths a day, according to a New York Times database. Less than 7% of the population is fully vaccinated.

 “The challenge of the pandemic is far from over,” said Arvind Subramanian, Modi’s former chief economic adviser and a senior fellow at Brown University who is a co-author of the study. “Vaccination offers the best hope but its pace needs to be ramped up considerably.”

Modi’s government has warned of an impending third wave of infections, which government scientists say could strike as early as August.

“The spirit of this paper is not to privilege any one estimate but simply to lay them out with transparency,” the authors of the excess deaths study, Abhishek Anand, Justin Sandefur and Subramanian, said.

“Given all the difficulties, getting at the true estimate will be difficult and only by piecing together data from different sources will we improve our understanding of the reality of the pandemic.”

Comments

Ramesh Mishra
 - 
Thursday, 29 Jul 2021

COVID-19, DEATH IN INDIA: Since the British left India in 1947, India failed to establish a skilled life and death records registry. The administration is monitored by IAS and PCS as the justices are completely deficient and corrupt. Most politicians of India are illiterates, unskilled, uncivilised, takes bribes with the criminal record and criminal minds. Covid-19, the pandemic is mismanaged resulting in massive death and causing economic catastrophe all over India. The BJP is a tyrannical regime and the people of India have no trust in the ruling elites and in desperation to save their lives and family leaving India " Like Rats Fleeing A Sinking Ship". India is a doomed Nation, its survival is uncertain.
Ramesh Mishra
Victoria BC CANADA
{" A UP NRI and Victime of the BJP tyrannical regime residing in Canada since 1975"]

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News Network
September 27,2022

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New Delhi, Sept 27: In a huge setback for Uddhav Thackeray in his fight against Eknath Shinde, the Supreme Court today refused to stop the Election Commission from deciding who forms the real Shiv Sena.

Uddhav Thackeray's faction had requested the Supreme Court to stop the Election Commission from deciding on the claim of Eknath Shinde-led group over the "real" Shiv Sena and its symbol.

The Supreme Court's Constitution bench heard the petition.

Uddhav Thackeray's government in Maharashtra crashed in June after a coup led by his former aide Eknath Shinde, who went on to form a new government along with the BJP.

Mr Shinde was sworn in as Chief Minister on June 30, with the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy.

On August 23, the Supreme Court referred to a five-judge bench petitions filed by the Uddhav Thackeray and Shinde-led factions raising several constitutional questions related to defection, merger and disqualification.

The court said the petitions raise important constitutional issues on the disqualification of defecting MLAs, the power of the Speaker and the Governor and judicial review.

The Thackeray faction had told the court that MLAs loyal to Eknath Shinde could avoid disqualification under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution only by merging with another political party.

Team Shinde had argued that the anti-defection law cannot be a weapon for a leader who has lost the confidence of his own party.

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News Network
September 14,2022

The Karnataka government has stepped up vigilance on the movement of people from neighbouring Kerala in the communally-sensitive border district of Kodagu as a preventive measure to check criminal activities.

The move comes after the alleged killers of BJP Yuva Morcha worker Praveen Kumar Nettare reportedly escaped and took shelter in Kerala. The murder took place in Dakshina Kannada district, which is adjacent to Kodau, both bordering Kerala.

State Home Minister Araga Gnanendra said on Tuesday that the police have been directed to keep a check on those coming to Kodagu from outside.

It has become common to commit crime in Karnataka and then sneak into Kerala, while many criminals from Kerala take shelter in Kodagu.

"All such people will be observed," Gnanendra said.

Ninety-five CCTV cameras have been installed across Kodagu district to step up vigilance.

"We are ready to take all preventive measures to stop criminal activities," he said.

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News Network
September 23,2022

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Kannur, Sept 23: A group of Popular Front of India (PFI) activists were beaten up by local people when they allegedly tried to forcefully down the shutters of shops here as part of the hartal called by their outfit in the state on Friday.

Angry local people reacted strongly when the protesters asked them to close the shops, beat them up and handed one of them to the police at the Central Bazar in Payyannur in this politically-volatile northern district. 

In the visuals aired by local television channels, it could be seen that one of the hartal supporters was beaten up by a group of local people, who chased him when he tried to run away and handed him over to the police later.

According to local people, the incident happened when a group of PFI workers rushed to the bazaar area knowing that some of the shops were open. Besides the shoppers and local people, those belonging to other political parties also said to have joined in the bid to check the PFI workers' attempt to close the shops.

At least four people were reportedly under the custody of Payyannur police in connection with the incident. Sporadic incidents of violence were reported in various parts of southern state during the hartal called by the radical Islamic outfit. 

The hartal was called by the PFI to protest against the raids in the offices and residences of its leaders and their subsequent arrests on Thursday by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other agencies for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

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