Haryana govt hugely undercounting Covid deaths: Surjewala

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Chandigarh, Jul 15 (PTI) Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala accused the BJP-JJP government in Haryana on Thursday of 'hugely undercounting' the deaths due to COVID-19 during the second wave of the pandemic 'to cover up its mismanagement'.

He demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of all Covid victims and an apology from the chief minister.

'The number of excess deaths registered by the Civil Registration System (births/deaths) in Haryana ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit from April 2020 to May 2021 was 60,397, which is 7.3 times the official reported figure of 8,303 COVID-19 deaths for the same period.

'The comparison makes it clear that the state government under-reported the number of corona deaths to cover up its massive mismanagement,' the Congress general secretary alleged in a statement issued here.

Health department officials were not immediately available for a comment.

Surjewala said hiding figures will not hide the truth.

'Will Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar take responsibility for it?' he asked.

'The BJP-led government should understand that hiding the data will not hide the truth and fool the intelligent people of Haryana, who themselves saw the long queues outside the cremation grounds,' the former state minister said.

He said despite repeated warnings from the Congress, no concrete arrangements were made by the state government to handle the pandemic.

'Due to the failure and gross mismanagement of the government, corona surpassed the boundaries of big cities and reached the villages during the second wave,' Surjewala said.

He said the state government should focus on increasing the numbers of vaccinations and tests.

'The numbers of vaccinations and tests have decreased instead of increasing. In the month of May 2021, 53,414 tests were conducted per day, which dropped to 30,962 and 29,324 in June and July, 2021.

'Similarly, the number of vaccinations has also decreased in July in comparison to June, which should have increased. If concrete and timely steps are not taken by the Haryana government for the prevention of Covid, the situation can become even more explosive in the eventuality of a third wave,' the Congress leader added. PTI SUN RC

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