Dying with the virus is not the same as dying from the virus but reliable data still missing

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Earlier there was mere talk, now increasingly leading newspapers are publishing reports that Covid mortality in recent days has been much higher than the official estimates ( estimates approved by the Government). This can be seen in reports published in such leading newspapers as The Hindustan Times, Bhaskar (a leading Hindi daily ) and outside India, the New York Times.

The Hindustan Times (24 April, 2021, Chandigarh edition ) has carried a well-researched report by Shruti Tomar from Bhopal , which reported, “At least 824 people have been cremated or buried in Bhopal with Covid-19 protocol in the last 12 days , according to the administration of crematoriums and graveyards in the city, but the state’s official Covid-19 death toll in the same period is 34.”

Further this report gives reasons why these figures differ, “ Families of the victims, health department officials and workers at crematoriums and graveyards in the city say that a majority of these 824 people—a number confirmed by the state government –were those who exhibited symptoms consistent with Covid-19 but couldn’t be tested due to shortage of kits and long delays in labs. The state government said these 824 cases were treated as “suspected” Covid—19 cases and weren’t added to the official tally because none of the patients had any report confirming that they were suffering from Covid-19.”

On April 26 Dainik Bhaskar ( Chandigarh edition) published a report under special arrangement with the New York Times. This report stated that the actual number of recent Covid deaths is much higher than official estimates and at official level the number is deliberately understated . This report quotes an expert Bhramar Mukherji of Michigan university as stating that the actual number of recent Covid deaths in India is 2 to 5 times higher than the official estimate. The difference in estimates in the context of Bhopal given here is somewhat similar to that mentioned in the HT report given above.

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