Tue 14 December 2021:
According to a court document, India’s western state of Gujarat has acknowledged that there were more COVID-19 deaths than its official tally, lending credence to fears that the country’s actual toll is much higher than reported.
Many media reports said that during India’s record second wave of cases between April and June, states including Gujarat undercounted deaths because many people died at home due to a severe shortage of hospital beds and oxygen.
According to an affidavit filed on Monday, Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, told the Supreme Court that as of Thursday, it had received 22,557 applications from families of the deceased seeking compensation, with 16,175 approved.
According to the state’s most recent health bulletin, it has a reported death count of 10,099 people.
India has reported 475,636 COVID-19 deaths, including many revised figures from states under court pressure to accurately represent the scope of the disaster.
The main opposition Congress party claimed that the actual death toll was much higher.
“We have been saying from the beginning that the Gujarat government has been underreporting COVID-19 cases and deaths,” said Manish Doshi, chief spokesperson for Gujarat Congress, adding its surveys had shown at least 55,000 deaths.
India reported 7,350 new COVID-19 cases on Monday – its lowest tally of active COVID-19 cases in 18 months.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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