Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday attacked the Narendra Modi government over a WHO report that claimed that there were 4.7 million Covid deaths in India, saying “science does not lie. [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi does”.
Gandhi also demanded that the government should support the families that have lost loved ones by giving them the mandated Rs 4 lakh compensation. In a tweet, he said, “47 lakh Indians died due to the Covid pandemic. NOT 4.8 lakh as claimed by the Govt. Science doesn’t LIE. Modi does.”
“Respect families who’ve lost loved ones. Support them with the mandated 4 lakh compensation,” the former Congress chief said.
The WHO on Thursday stated that 14.9 million (one million=10 lakh) people were killed either by Covid-19 directly or due to the pandemic’s impact on health systems and society. According to the report, there were 4.7 million Covid deaths in India, which is 10 times the official figures and almost a third of Covid deaths globally.
India strongly objected to the use of mathematical models by the WHO for projecting excess mortality estimates linked to the coronavirus pandemic in view of the availability of authentic data, saying validity and robustness of the models used and methodology of data collection are questionable.
Meanwhile, according to data prepared by the Registrar General of India (RGI), a whopping 45 percent of the total 82 lakh people who died in India in 2020 did not get any medical attention at the time of death and just 1.3 percent of the total registered fatalities during the year received medical care from a qualified professional. However, the RGI’s report ‘Vital Statistics of India based on the Civil Registration System’ for 2020 did not give the number of people who succumbed to COVID-19.
According to the Union Health Ministry data, in 2020, when COVID-19 was first reported in the country, 1.48 lakh people lost their lives due to the pandemic, which is substantially lower than in 2021 when 3.32 lakh people died due to the disease.
“About 1.3 percent of the total registered deaths during 2020 have received medical attention from qualified allopathic professionals and practitioners of other systems together and 45 percent of the deceased did not receive any medical attention at the time of death,” the RGI’s report said.
The proportion of people dying in the absence of medical attention in 2019 was 34.5 percent. As many as 28 percent of the total registered deaths have occurred in institutions and is on a higher side than that of other places from where the deceased had received medical attention.
About 16.4 percent of the registered deaths were reported under ‘medical attention other than institutions’. The RGI report said complete information on medical attention received by the deceased at the time of death has been received from 34 states and UTs. Two states — Maharashtra and Sikkim — have submitted only partial data and therefore their numbers have not been used while consolidating the data.
Referring to infant deaths, the report said the share of registered infant deaths in rural areas is only 23.4 percent while that of the urban area is 76.6 percent during the year. “Non-registration of infant deaths in the rural area is a cause of concern which may be due to non-reporting of infant deaths to the registrars, especially in case of domiciliary events,” it said.