Birth, death registration data debunks claim of suppressed Covid-19 deaths: VK Paul | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Birth, death registration data debunks claim of suppressed Covid-19 deaths: VK Paul

May 03, 2022 11:34 PM IST

On the lag in reporting of deaths and states often being found reconciling death numbers, Paul said it shows states were going to extra length to report deaths and there is nothing to hide.

New Delhi: The annual birth and death registration data released on Tuesday help debunk the allegations that India is massively under-reporting deaths during Covid-19, said VK Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog.

The annual birth and death registration data released on Tuesday help debunk the allegations that India is massively under-reporting deaths during Covid-19, according to Niti Aayog officials. (PTI PHOTO.)
The annual birth and death registration data released on Tuesday help debunk the allegations that India is massively under-reporting deaths during Covid-19, according to Niti Aayog officials. (PTI PHOTO.)

“Actual data is right before everyone, and shows an increase of 4,75,000 deaths from 2019-2020, which is all-cause mortality and not just deaths due to Covid-19. 2018-19 had about 7 lakh excess deaths and it didn’t have a disease called Covid-19. All those talk about eight times more deaths than what’s reported fall flat after looking at this actual data from within the country,” he said.

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Paul also said that modeling exercises become futile when you have actual data “Nobody should use modeling anymore, and come up with exorbitant multiples based on those modeling exercises. Apart from Covid-19 additionalaity there are other factors such as increase in population, increase in reporting, more awareness etc,” he said.

According to Paul, this data has to a very large extent countered all allegations about more Covid-19 deaths having happened in India than reported officially.

On the lag in reporting of deaths and states often being found reconciling death numbers, Paul said it shows states were going to extra length to report deaths and there is nothing to hide.

“It is in fact helping us to understand the overall demographic effects that could be there; the trends,” he said.

While there is a system in place to make other data sets like INSACOG or adverse events following immunisation public, there is a lag.

Paul said, “It should happen in time and the agencies are trying their best. Our data be it infant mortality rate or under-5 mortality etc, it is known world over. These systems are in place but there is always room for improvement. And improvement will happen over time.”

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