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Nitin Patel says govt is not hiding COVID-19 death statistics

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Deputy chief minister Nitin Patel who is also the Health Minister of Gujarat on Wednesday clarified that the state has not been hiding any COVID-19 deaths.

In an address, Patel said that anyone who has died after being tested positive for COVID-19 is considered a COVID-19 death irrespective of co-morbidities. “There is no hiding of any kind of data,” Patel clarified. This comes after questions were being raised about the drop in number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the state and whether it was due to a change in the method of reporting deaths. Since the pandemic began, Gujarat had been recording the highest number of deaths in terms of percentage but it has come down over the last many days. The state has been on an average reporting 15 deaths a day.

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“The government numbers are authentic and there is no hiding of any kind,” Patel said. On whether the state will allow celebrations for the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi, Janmashtami and Navaratri celebrations, Patel said they are awaiting the Centre’s guidelines. He also said that the surge in cases that the state is witnessing was to be expected after lockdown restrictions were eased but that it was less than what was estimated. He said the overall death count and fatality rate had come down while the  doubling rate had gone up.

The state has a test-positivity ratio of 11.29% and a recovery rate of over 69%. Gujarat has conducted a total 4.78 lakh tests so far with average daily tests of around 7,400 during July.