Odisha Govt Fudging Number Of COVID-19 Deaths, Claims Opp

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Bhubaneswar: With COVID-19 cases and deaths continuing to rise in Odisha, the Opposition has accused the state government of mismanagement and hiding facts from the people.

The Opposition parties have even threatened to launch massive protests against the alleged mismatch in the number of deaths reported by the government.

Claims & Counterclaim

Congress leader Manas Choudhury said, “Whenever you visit the crematorium, you will find cremations underway. The government is not providing the facts and even suppressing the voices questioning mismatch.”

Echoing the allegation, BJP leader Lekhashree Samantsinghar said, “The Odisha government has completely failed in COVID-19 management and to hide its failure, it is providing false data on a regular basis.”

The ruling BJD, however, has rubbished the charges. “The government is not hiding COVID-19 data and such allegations during these times only reflect the foolishness and lack of experience on the part of some people,” BJD leader Prashant Jagdev countered.

Ground Reality

According to the Supervisor of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Gopal Chandra Das, “Around 30 to 40 bodies are getting cremated at the Satya Nagar crematorium daily.”

This figure, however, doesn’t match with the data provided by the Health and Family Welfare Department. As per the department’s data, the highest single-day death toll reported so far was 16 on September 24. This is far less than the daily count claimed by the BMC supervisor.

Moreover, Das claimed that over 1,100 bodies have been cremated at the Satya Nagar crematorium so far. However, the Health Department has reported that 752 COVID-19 patients have succumbed so far along with 53 deaths due to other diseases.

Responding to the claims, BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary told the media, “I can’t say the exact figure without checking the crematorium data. Apart from the normal cremation of bodies at the crematorium, bodies of some deceased from other districts are also getting cremated here because of COVID-19 restrictions. That’s why the numbers seem higher.”

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