The hard-bitten reality of the Covid-19 pandemic has affected millions of people across the world. While innumerable segments of society have been deprived financially, others have borne the heartwrenching loss of their dear ones. The pain of losing someone never gets away with time, and the melancholy faced is incomparable to anything in this world. Even after suffering so much lately, the Union Ministry is not acknowledging our troubles. It has the audacity to make a mockery of it by stating that no one died due to oxygen.
Reiterating to the Centre’s claims on deaths, was India’s official Covid-19 death undercounted? Well, Images of packed crematories and burials have swirled across social media, envisaging the devastating scenario of Covid-19 deaths. Assessments have emerged by various health experts and journalists regarding the excess deaths incurred during May 2021 comparing to 2018 and 2019, stating 30-40x times the reported Covid-19 figures. Is the extrapolation likely possible, or are we underlining fallacious claims? The uncounted deaths are explicitly in the news following bold claims by the Health Ministry that the reports alleging a fake coronavirus death toll are targeting the government’s integrity.
Why has the Official Covid-19 data Not been Recorded Significantly by the Government?
The second wave of the pandemic has overridden the harsh circumstances deployed by the undercounting of deaths. The official Covid-19 data inextricably understates the suffering of Indian citizens. India has witnessed the largest daily death toll faced by any country during the pandemic despite the government sites constantly exhibiting complete control over the situation. Acquiring information on the accurate Covid-19 infections in India is difficult due to its poor record-keeping and widespread testing across communities. The Modi government has tried to escape the vigours of its susceptible mistakes by manipulating the official statistics.
It is crystal clear that the politicians cannot withstand the criticism aimed at them, thus trying every armour in their locker to sustain their venerated image. The problematic issue arises when health experts, news outlets have stated the cases and deaths to be far exceeding reported figures. The truth can’t be hidden for long from the public, and soon they will acknowledge the reasons for their agony.
According to sources, India’s undercount of infections and deaths is more pronounced due to technical and logistical reasons. The deaths occurring at home and in rural areas due to Covid-19 are excluded from the official data. On Friday, the government statements claimed undercount deaths as totally fallacious, which contradict the public’s distressing signs.
Furthermore, the Health Ministry of India asserted that India had established a robust surveillance system and the missing counts of death are highly unlikely as per the registration system. India has never been efficient in keeping vital records updated, and the WHO report has indicated the global coronavirus death toll is ten times higher than reported. So, it is inevitable that the government is making mere excuses as it doesn’t even get concerned to know about the circumstances prevailing in the country. They reside in their offices pertaining to power, but they haven’t utilised it for welfare viably.
Nothing New: Government neglecting its Responsibilities and Covering Up the Rotten-cracks
During the second wave’s peak, the overwhelmed cases are something that we can’t get our minds off from without expressing our voice against the authorities. When people were crying out in pain and required mandatory oxygen for survival, the government focused on contesting elections. Health was considered the State subject.
Whenever the public agitated about not accumulating oxygen, medical supplies, and hospital beds, they turned to the Centre for proactive measures. If the Centre shifted its priority to help the ailing citizens rather than being involved in a clash of words with the State government, millions of people wouldn’t have lost their lives. Not only this, but prior instances have showcased that the unnecessary blame game has appended supremacy and substantially neglected communities’ interests.
The Centre’s recent faceoff with allegations of excessive deaths opened following a study published by the United States-based Centre for Global Development, estimating India’s death toll in margins of 34 lakh and 47 lakh- ten times higher than the current reflected official Covid-19 data. The Health Ministry has denied the report and dismissed the concerns as baseless and false claims. It said that factors such as race, ethnicity, genomic constituency of a population hadn’t been correctly utilised. The extrapolation of deaths predicted the audacious assumption that the likelihood of mortalities is due to the Covid-19 infection.
Why hasn’t the Covid-19 official website handled all the possible cases and deaths extracted from a particular region? The question is remarkably arguable when the government’s blame-game strategy gets enervated on the death toll. Initially, when the pandemic was surging in particular states, the lack of widespread testing contributed to declining reported cases. Later on, deaths were being covered up in bundles without informing the family members and intentionally hidden from the official count.
Government’s Blame-Game Seems to Continue on An Never-Ending Route-
The Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had stated that if there was any underreporting of deaths, it was accountable to the state government. Even if the information strategy conducted in India perpetuates the bottom-up protocol, the exact death toll must have got communicated to all the ministerial levels. In such a scenario, the blame should stand over to all the authorities and not just one. The states have been responsible for cross-checking the data received from the districts and instituting an audit to procure any missed cases and deaths.
Why can’t the zenith ministry of the Parliament conduct an audit following in the footsteps of its designated protocol? It’s all done to evade the centre from its responsibilities and blame the state and districts for calculated errors. The whole system is creating a fallacy, and the Indian population are the ultimate bearers.
What did the US report Reveal about the Excess Death Due to Covid-19 in India?
India’s death toll highlighted by several media journalists and nationalities has predicted an alarming picture. They researched the cases registered by seven Indian states, which constitute half-amount of deaths in India. The study resurfaced its theory on combining Covid seroprevalence and the international average of age-specific mortality rates. Sero surveys are conducted on the prognosis of a segment of the population to configure the Covid-19 antibodies. Following estimations of the seroprevalence, the US report has stated India’s tragic death toll to be in the several million and not in hundreds of thousands. We are not far-fetched away from the possibility of the second wave, and there’s no certainty that the government acts proactively in correctly assuming Covid-19 cases and deaths.