‘UP govt not only hiding Covid death figures, but also...,’: Akhilesh Yadav
Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party on Tuesday targeted the Uttar Pradesh government over a report which claimed that the death toll due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the state’s 24 districts is much higher than what official data shows. Akhilesh Yadav said the Bharatiya Janata Party- (BJP) led government is not only hiding the death figures but also its face.
“According to information accessed through the Right to Information (RTI), it has come to light that the death toll in 24 districts of Uttar Pradesh in the nine months of the pandemic till March 31, 2021, is up to 43 times higher than the government figures,” Yadav’s tweet, roughly translated from Hindi, read.
Yadav, who is the former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, has been criticising the current state government over its handling of the pandemic, alleging costly treatment of Covid-19, shortage of life-saving medicines and negligence in treating Mucormycosis. On June 20, Yadav said the government will not be able to vaccinate all by Diwali due to the current pace of the inoculation drive.
The report, published by Article 14, said the 24 districts where deaths have been misreported include Agra, Ghaziabad, Bareilly, Meerut, Gautam Buddh Nagar among others. The findings are based on a comparison of the official death toll in these districts during this nine-month period with the excess fatalities recorded in the state’s Civil Registration System (CRS). The mortality data was accessed through an RTI application.
The total deaths recorded in these 24 districts, as per the RTI reply obtained by Article 14 was at 375,000. However, the CSR showed only 178,000 deaths during this period.
The Uttar Pradesh government has, on its part, dismissed the findings of the report and said that all Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 deaths in the state are being registered in a transparent manner. “The non- Covid, as well as Covid deaths, are being registered in all the 75 districts, the local authorities as well as birth and death registration cell has been directed to register all the births and deaths in the respective districts,” cabinet minister Siddharth Nath Singh told Hindustan Times on Monday, adding correct data about births and deaths is crucial for welfare and development schemes.
According to the health department’s bulletin, Uttar Pradesh has recorded 22,224 Covid-19 deaths, 1,704,476 cases and 1,678,089 recoveries till now. On Monday, 213 new cases, 46 deaths and 478 recoveries were reported. The active cases in the state have come down to 4,163, the bulletin said.