(Eds: Recasts with govt reax) Bengaluru, Sep 30 (PTI) Senior Congress leader Siddaramiah on Wednesday accused the Karnataka government of under reporting the COVID-19 deaths in the state and trying to 'cover up' its 'gross mismanagement and negligence', a charge rejected by the latter.
As the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly hit out at the BJP government over the handling of the pandemic, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said it was not suppressing any information about COVID-19 and has no need for such a course.
Siddaramiah, in a series of tweets, sought more transparency and accountability, as he said that deaths reported at a hospital in Kolar district last week did not get reflected in COVID-19 bulletin.
'There are serious under reporting issues with respect to Covid-19 deaths. Jalappa hospital has reported 4 deaths between 19th Sep, 12 PM to 20th Sep, 12 PM. But, the bulletin on 20 Sept has reported 0 deaths in Kolar,' Siddaramaiah tweeted, sharing pictures of the report.
He pointed out that the same hospital had reported one death between 12 PM on Sep 20 to 12 PM next day, but the bulletin on September 21 has reported nil deaths in Kolar.
'What is the govt trying to hide by underreporting? Is it your failure?' he asked, tagging Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, Health Minister B Sriramulu and Sudhakar in a tweet.
'Under reporting will have serious implications on the preparedness of the stakeholders providing health care and also on the behaviour of the people. Yediyurappa govt is trying to cover up its gross mismanagement and negligence.
There has to be more transparency and accountability,' Siddaramaiah added.
Rejecting the claims, Minister Sudhakar in a statement said the government has maintained transparency in presenting facts and figures related to COVID-19.
Responding to allegations of underreporting of Covid related death in Kolar, he said that there were three deaths in RLJ Hospital (Jalappa hospital) on September 19 and as there was a delay in reporting the death by the hospital, it was reported on September 24.
The death that occurred on September 20 too was reported on the September 25 due to the same reason, he clarified.
Sudhakar further stated that even at national level, the BJP government has been prompt, honest, and transparent in presenting the information on Covid19, and this has been further proven by a media survey that was conducted recently.
During the recently concluded monsoon session of the state assembly, opposition Congress legislators had made similar charges of suppressing data against the government, which Sudhakar had rejected by saying that ICMR has complemented Karnataka for providing correct data.
As of September 29 evening, cumulatively 5.92 lakh COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 8,777 deaths and 4,76,378 discharges. PTI KSU VS VS