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Mumbai civic body denies suppressing COVID-19 death toll

The Mumbai civic body has denied allegations of suppressing the COVID-19
death and infection figures and said it was recording the number of
fatalities as per protocols laid down by the WHO and ICMR.

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday accused the Shiv Sena-ruled
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) of under-reporting COVID-19
fatalities and “manipulating” the viral infection rate in the city.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the BMC said it was completely
transparent in reporting the number of COVID-19 fatalities and cases,
and in conducting the tests.

The civic body rejected the criticism that it was creating a false
picture that the pandemic situation in Mumbai was being brought under
control.

“The allegation is completely baseless and the BMC administration
rejects it. The COVID-19 testing and recording of deaths due to the
infection were being done as per the criteria laid down by the World
Health Organisation (WHO) and the Indian Council of Medical Research
(ICMR),” it said.

The BMC said the civic administration was committed towards “mission
zero”, which aims to bring the COVID-19 situation under control
step-by-step.

In a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Fadnavis had
said the BMC was attributing the deaths of some COVID-19 patients to
‘other reasons’ and thus, suppressing the real toll of the viral infection.

The leader of opposition in Maharashtra Assembly had also alleged that
the BMC was manipulating the infection rate by relying more on Rapid
Antigen Tests.

Notably, the Supreme Court recently praised the BMC for managing the
second wave of COVID-19 efficiently.

With the addition of 2,403 cases on Sunday, Mumbai’s COVID-19 tally rose
to 6,76,475, while 68 deaths pushed the toll to 13,817, an official said.

It was the second consecutive day that the country’s financial capital
saw a daily addition of less than 3,000 cases.

A total of 3,375 people were discharged during the day, raising the
overall recovery count in Mumbai to 6,13,418, as per official figures.

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