The opposition Congress and BJP on Friday continued to allege mismatch in the COVID-19 deaths reported in Kerala and accused the state government of projecting a “fabricated” figure to save its face in the fight against the pandemic.
The opposition reiterated the charges a day after Health Minister Veena George had said the state government has nothing to hide with regard to pandemic-related casualties.
The opposition leader in the state Assembly, VD Satheesan said on Friday that there has been mismatch in the death count.
The Health Minister was trying to save the government from getting exposed on the deceptive numbers of COVID deaths, he alleged.
“I wonder why the government should hide the facts. There is no need for the government to think that revelation of real figures would taint its image,” Mr Satheesan said.
Stating that tens of thousands had died due to the pandemic across the globe, he accused the state government of conspiring to project a fabricated figure hiding factual numbers.
The Congress leader also said the opposition would not accuse the government for COVID deaths, which is part of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, BJP state president K Surendran charged that only one-third of the actual COVID-19 deaths was reflected in the government records and even the Health Minister had admitted that the state authorities had covered up the death count.
Alleging that the Pinarayi Vijayan government had excluded COVID-19 deaths from the official records in order to stage a campaign that “Kerala is Number One”, he said the state was violating ICMR norms and the central policy in this regard since the beginning.
More people are succumbing to the disease in the state due to false negative reports and delayed medical examination, the BJP leader further charged.
“The state government has reduced the weekly average test to one-fifth. This is the reason why the death rate in the state is yet to decrease,” he said.
Without understanding this, the government has tried to save its face by reducing the death count, the BJP leader added.
Amidst opposition criticism, Ms George had on Thursday said the state government had nothing to hide with regard to deaths due to COVID-19.
A new transparent and decentralised online system has been put in place to report deaths due to the virus, Ms George said, a day after the Supreme Court directed the National Disaster Management Authority to issue guidelines in six weeks for compensation to families of those who died of COVID.
“Kerala is a state where 100 per cent births and deaths are reported. It is not as if the state decides on which death to be categorised as due to Covid or not,” she had said.
As per government figures, 13,235 people have lost their lives to the virus, while at least 25,000 might have perished, he claimed.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)