Rajasthan forms 3 teams to audit Covid-19 deaths amid under reporting cloud
The Rajasthan government has constituted teams to audit deaths caused by Covid-19 amid opposition allegations that the official toll discounted several unreported deaths caused by the disease in the rural areas.
Health minister, Dr Raghu Sharma said the statistics of deaths from Covid-19 in the state have already been verified by senior officials. It will now be certified within the prescribed time-limit by the three teams headed by senior doctors in compliance with chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s directive.
He said in 2019, a total of 396,799 deaths were registered in the state, which increased to 420,403 in 2020 -- an increase of 5.94%. Similarly, from January 2020 to May 25, 2020, the number of deaths registered was 166,392; which rose this year to 175,244 – an increase by 5.31%. He said the growth rate was the same as the previous year.
Sharma said due to Covid-19 from March 2020 to March 2021, a total of 2,818 deaths happened - In the same period, the total number of deaths was 439,996. The number of Covid-19 deaths between April and May this year stood at 5,093, which is 6.12 % of all 83,188 deaths recorded so far in the state.
He said that the audit teams will go to various districts and look at deaths caused by Covid-19 among the overall deaths. “The teams will also submit their suggestions about treatment of the infection in districts and ways to reduce the possibility of death. These teams have been directed to... submit their report in the next 15 days,” he said.
According to the health department, 8,018 people have succumbed to Covid-19 in Rajasthan till date. However, a survey by a local news daily, listed 14,482 deaths caused by the disease in the state’s 25 rural districts between April 1 and May 20 this year alone, while the government’s record puts the number of deaths in this period to 3,918. Rajasthan has 33 districts in all. A political row soon erupted with the opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleging that the state was underreporting Covid-19 deaths.
While ordering the audit of Covid and non-Covid deaths in the state, chief minister Ashok Gehlot stated that the government was worried about people’s lives and not figures.
Appreciating the effort of a server when dining out, and extending monetary reward/tipping is a universally accepted practice. However, the levying mandatory service charges was ordered to be stopped, by the government. Still, many eateries have continued to add service charge in the issued bills, and some have even written it in their menu about not wanting to lay off this charge under any circumstance.
The Criminal Investigation Department probing the police sub-inspector recruitment scam has arrested one more person from Afzalpur in Kalaburagi district, sources in the CID said. The arrested person is said to be a close aide of one of the key conspirators Rudragouda D Patil. The accused had reportedly provided a bluetooth device to a candidate. He was also a link between Patil and the candidates who passed the exam through unfair means.
Continuing his attack against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, calling it a "Aryan" organisation, senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Saturday urged its leaders to come clean about their loyalty, whether it was for tricolour or saffron flag, constitution or Manu Smriti and Mahatma Gandhiji or Nathuram Godse.
Tibba police busted a honey-trap racket and arrested four persons, including two women, on Saturday. One of the members of the gang has yet to be caught, the police said. The FIR against them has been registered on the complaint of Nagendra Yadav of New Vijay Nagar. A fabric manufacturer, Yadav, told the police that he runs a factory near Puneet Nagar. On Friday evening, he was going to his factory on a scooter.
Bringing relief from the scorching heat, the thunderstorm witnessed in the city on Saturday evening turned the weather pleasant. Partly cloudy weather prevailed in the city since morning and rains, along with strong winds, brought down the mercury levels in the evening. As per the meteorological department, Chandigarh, the maximum temperature in the city was recorded at 40 degrees Celsius while the minimum was 27 degrees.