COVID-19: Mismatch between govt’s death figures, bodies arriving for last rites in Bhopal

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Bhopal, Apr 16 (PTI) Last rites of 108 people who died of coronavirus in Bhopal were performed on Thursday, a figure vastly different from the Madhya Pradesh government's claim on COVID-19 fatalities that day, according to records maintained by crematoriums and graveyards in the state capital and officials working there.

The government had claimed that only eight people had died of the infection in Bhopal district in the last 24 hours (on Thursday).

According to the records with two crematoriums and a graveyard, last rites of 156 people were performed on Thursday in the state capital. Of them 108 were coronavirus-infected, the documents showed.

'Eighty-eight people were cremated in our crematorium on Thursday. Of them, 72 were the ones who had died of coronavirus,' Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat (crematorium) secretary Mamtesh Sharma told PTI.

Out of the 72 COVID-19 deceased, 45 were from Bhopal, while 27 were from other districts, he said.

Coronavirus patients who come from other districts to Bhopal for treatment and die here are cremated in the state capital itself, Sharma said.

Bhadbhada and Zada graveyards are authorised to perform the last rites in the district. But due to a rise in fatalites, another crematorium, Subhash Nagar Vishram Ghat, too, has been roped in for funerals, Sharma said.

'Last rites of 51 people (21 of them Bhopal residents) were performed at our crematorium on Thursday,' Subhash Nagar Vishram Ghat manager Sobhraj Sukhwani said, adding that of these 26 had died of the respiratory disease.

'Burial of 17 people took place in our cemetery. Of them, 10 were the ones who died of coronavirus. Eight of the deceased were local while the two hailed from other districts,' Zada Graveyard Committee, Jahangirabad, president Rehan Golden said.

'Between April 1 and April 15, we have laid to rest 117 people. Of them, 65 were coronavirus victims,' Golden said.

According to a state government bulletin of Thursday, 666 patients had died of COVID-19 in Bhopal district since the outbreak.

District Chief Medical and Health Officer Dr Prabhakar Tiwari could not be contacted for his comment on the issue. PTI LAL RSY RSY