The Gujarat government on Saturday said that media reports about the state hiding actual COVID deaths were baseless. The state was reacting to a report by a daily which compared the COVID deaths with the number of death certificates that were issued in 2021.
The state in a release argued that it was not right to compare the number of COVID deaths released by the state with the number of death certificates issued as these are often issued months after the actual death.
It argued that there was a difference in time in registration for the death certificate and issuing of the certificate. It argued that the data published by the paper was baseless and said the media should concentrate on publishing the successful results achieved during the Covid pandemic.
Minister of State for Home Affairs, Pradipsinh Jadeja called the news report published by a daily – “Gujarat government hides death figures” as baseless and devoid of reality.
He said the comparison between COVID deaths and death certificate issued is not proper.
Govt’s argument about the high number of death certificates issued
Death certificates are issued online to ensure it is transparent and kin of the deceased can easily access it. Death certificates are issued for various reasons, so the possibility of more than one registration for a person cannot be ignored
The difference between death certificates issued and the number of deaths is also because many people may register the death late.
Time of death, registration, and issuing of death certificates are three different aspects. All these were combined to show death figures and so the analysis in the media report was inappropriate.
The death data of the year 2020 has no accuracy. The media report said the total death certificates issued in March and April 2020 is 44,943 but the actual data is 61,505. So the media report underreported the number of death certificates issued by 30%.
Comparing death certificates issued in previous years should also take into consideration factors like an increase in population and natural deaths.
The media report compared death certificates issued in 2020 and 2021. Since 2020 had a lockdown, the death certificates were issued later till July 31, 2021. This aspect was also ignored in the media report.
What is govt’s stand?
The state follows the death protocol system formulated for the registration of death due to COVID. Proper reporting of deaths due to COVID is being done.
Sometimes, post-COVID recovery deaths are also seen, which is included as COVID death in the report, which would be inappropriate.
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