In news from India, the Modi government is coming under intense criticism for rejecting World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest report on India’s Covid situation.
WHO recently published a report stating that 4.7 million people in India lost their lives due to the virus. However, the Indian government rejected the report questioning the methodology adopted by WHO to calculate the numbers.
India’s Union Health Ministry said WHO released the figures without adequately addressing India’s concerns. Moreover, it criticized the WHO’s methodology for calculating deaths as “statistically unsound and scientifically questionable”.
As per data shared by the health ministry, India’s death toll on Friday stood at 5. 24 lakh. Going by WHO’s estimates, India’s true death toll due to Covid-19 is 10 times more than the 481,000 Covid-19 fatalities for a period till December 31, 2021.
As a result, the Indian government is facing criticism for downplaying its Covid deaths. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused Indian Prime Minister Modi of lying.
“Science doesn’t lie. Modi does,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted while sharing the WHO Covid statistics.
“Respect families who have lost loved ones. Support them with the mandated INR 4 lakh compensation,” the Indian political leader further added.
47 lakh Indians died due to the Covid pandemic. NOT 4.8 lakh as claimed by the Govt.
Science doesn't LIE. Modi does.
Respect families who've lost loved ones. Support them with the mandated ₹4 lakh compensation. pic.twitter.com/p9y1VdVFsA
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 6, 2022
The WHO releases their COVID death numbers, estimating that more than 4.7 million Indians have died, more than 10x the official Modi government estimate.
Both the Modi government's undercounting and the attempts to block this information are outrageous.https://t.co/zyn8KgXso0
— Dr. Audrey Truschke (@AudreyTruschke) May 5, 2022
India’s Covid crisis
As India resolutely rejects the high death toll due to Covid, there is no denying that it faced a tough time during the pandemic. In fact, in 2021, the death toll rose to an alarming rate. Parks and open grounds in India were turned into mass cremation sites because crematoriums became unavailable due to the bulk of dead bodies received on a daily basis.
The situation became so dire that hospitals across India buckled under the burden of Covid cases as they faced shortages in supplies. More than two-thirds of hospitals had no vacant beds. They also issued notices to say that they have only a few hours of medical oxygen required to keeping Covid-19 patients alive.
Furthermore, while slamming the WHO report, India defended its health care system. However, pertinent to mention that in 2021, India faced an oxygen crisis despite warnings.
“Not one, not two-several warnings of an impending oxygen crisis were ignored by PM Modi,” said Goa Congress, which is a unit of the Indian National Congress in the State of Goa.
Other independent assessments have also put the death toll in India far higher than the official government tally, including a report published in Science which suggested 3 million people may have died of Covid in the country.