On Saturday, senior BJP leaders in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) have reportedly accused the Arvind Kejriwal-led-Delhi Government of a ‘massive discrepancy’ in the number of official Coronavirus deaths and the actual data of such deaths, recorded from crematoriums and burial grounds.
On the contrary, the Delhi Government had passed on the blame for the discrepancy in data on the hospitals. Arvind Kejriwal played drama that and accused the health officials of not providing timely information and has therefore issued new guidelines.
The Municipal Corporations of North and South Delhi have told the Delhi government that they have recorded 426 cremations or burials at six designated cremation/burial grounds until May 16 as “Corona positive”.
On Thursday, the Delhi government’s official health bulletin had put the number of Covid deaths in the city at 194. The government said the civic bodies had not provided documents to back their claim on the numbers.
The two civic bodies provided the information to the government after Delhi Health Secretary Padmini Singla, on May 16, sought details of cremations and burials performed at the Nigambodh Ghat and Punjabi Bagh crematoriums and the ITO graveyard of bodies of people who either had or were suspected to have Covid-19.
When asked about figures provided by the two civic bodies, the Delhi government spokesperson said they had received the reports from both corporations, but added that neither had produced supporting documents and reports for bodies which they claimed had tested positive.
“The Health Bulletin reports death as declared by the Death Audit Committee. In the report submitted by the MCDs, a significant number of cases did not have the necessary documents. After studying all the reports, the number declared by the Death Audit Committee was found to be accurate,” the government spokesperson said.
Earlier, there was a mismatch in the number of Coronavirus deaths between the Health Bulletin of the Delhi Government and the one reported by the hospitals in Delhi. According to Jai Prakash, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of NMCD, there have been 282 burials and cremations of bodies as per standard operating procedures in the area.
He added that 270 dead bodies of Coronavirus patients were brought to Nigam Bodh crematorium, 11 at Mangolpuri burial ground, and one at a Christian cemetery in Rohini. “The Kejriwal government is afraid that if real death figures become known to people, it will puncture its claim that Coronavirus situation is supposedly under control in Delhi,” he was quoted as saying.
The North corporation wrote that it had recorded cremations/burials of 202 ‘Covid positive’ bodies — at Nigambodh Ghat (191), the “Muslim burial ground” at Mangolpuri (10), and the “Christian cemetery” at Mangolpuri (1). It also stated that it had recorded 50 cremations of ‘Covid suspected’ bodies — all at Nigambodh Ghat.
The South corporation wrote that 224 ‘Corona positive’ cremations or burials had been recorded — 162 at the Punjabi Bagh crematorium, 61 at the “ITO kabristan”, and 1 at the Madanpur Khadar burial ground. In the column for ‘Corona suspected’ bodies, the South MCD stated that while 15 were cremated at Punjabi Bagh, 68 were buried at the ITO graveyard.
Earlier, in a video uploaded by the news channel, health officials could be seen burying the body of a deceased in accordance with Coronavirus protocols. A JCB machine was even employed to dig the pit for the burial. According to the ground reporter
Milan Sharma, cemetery records stated that the said burial marked the 96th case of burial of a Coronavirus patient at the ITO Kabristan. As such, there was a mismatch between the Delhi Government data and the actual number of deaths caused in the State due to the Chinese virus