Govt suppressing Covid death numbers, alleges Congress

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New Delhi, May 26 (PTI) The Congress on Wednesday accused the Centre of suppressing COVID-19 death numbers, with party leader Rahul Gandhi saying numbers do not lie but the government does.

The party also said that the central government should have procured Covid vaccines globally and ramped their production in the country to improve access to vaccination.

'Numbers don't lie... GOI (government of India) does,' Gandhi said on Twitter while citing a New York Times estimate of the number of coronavirus deaths in India.

The report said that 'just how big could India's true Covid toll be' and cited the official count of 3,07,231 as on May 24 and it estimated 600,000 deaths in a conservative scenario, 1.6 million estimated deaths in a more likely scenario and 4.2 million estimated deaths in a worse scenario.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, 'We will never know the true number of Covid-related deaths as the government has worked harder on suppressing this data than they did fighting the pandemic.' Congress leader Jairam Ramesh suggested: 'What Modi government should have done but did not: procured vaccines globally, ramped up production locally (through compulsory licensing), issued vaccines to states fairly and transparently and improved access to vaccines by reducing exclusions.' He said that 'at least two Standing Committees suggested it'.

His party colleague Kapil Sibal tweeted, 'Surat: Threefold spike in COVID cases amongst kids. Protect our children. Don't put them to risk by holding exams for class 12.' 'Find an innovative solution to assess them. Life is more important than exams,' he said.

The Congress has been critical of the government's handling of the Covid pandemic and the vaccination policy. PTI SKC ANB ANB