No undercount of COVID-19 deaths in state: MP home minister

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Indore, Apr 27 (PTI) Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra on Tuesday denied that there was underreporting of COVID-19 deaths in the state.

The pandemic was a global calamity and there was no reason to hide the number of deaths, he told reporters here.

He was replying to a question about the mismatch between official COVID-19 death figures and the number of dead bodies ending up at crematoriums and cemeteries.

'Why would anyone hide the actual COVID-19 death figures? It is a pandemic. People are not dying in riots.

COVID-19 is a natural calamity which is not confined to Madhya Pradesh but has hit the entire world,' the minister said.

Notably, on April 21 managers of two crematoriums and a cemetery in Bhopal had claimed that the last rites of 137 COVID-19 victims were performed that day, while the official death figure for the state capital was only five.

Mishra also denied that the BJP government in the state failed to anticipate the intensity of the second wave of the pandemic and provide medical facilities to people.

'Nobody had any idea about such a dangerous wave coming. If Madhya Pradesh failed, why did Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan missed it?' he asked.

The home minister also informed that about 4,500 prisoners across the state will be released on parole in view of the raging pandemic.

Targeting former chief minister Kamal Nath, he said Congress leaders did nothing during the pandemic except 'tweeting from their beds'. PTI HWP MAS KRK KRK