Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today hit out at the government over a WHO report of 4.7 million “excess” Covid deaths, saying “science does not lie, Prime Minister Narendra Modi does”.
Mr Gandhi also demanded that the government should support the families that have lost loved ones by giving them the mandated Rs four lakh compensation.
In a tweet, he said, “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,” the former Congress chief said.
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
In a report released Thursday, WHO said between January 2020 and December 2021, there were 4.7 million “excess” Covid deaths in India — the maximum number that’s 10 times the official figures and almost a third of Covid deaths globally. The global figure, according to the report, was 15 million — more than double the official figure of 6 million.
India has strongly refuted the WHO’s use of the mathematical model to calculate the number of Covid deaths, saying the “figure is totally removed from reality”. Contending that the country has an “extremely robust” system of births and deaths registration, the Union health ministry, in its rebuttal, called the WHO’s system of data collection “statistically unsound and scientifically questionable”.
“India has consistently questioned WHO’s own admission that data in respect of seventeen Indian states was obtained from some websites and media reports and was used in their mathematical model,” the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.
“This reflects a statistically unsound and scientifically questionable methodology of data collection for making excess mortality projections in case of India,” the statement added. “Despite India’s objection to the process, methodology and outcome of this modelling exercise, WHO has released the excess mortality estimates without adequately addressing India’s concerns,” the ministry said.
Dr NK Arora, chief of India’s Covid Working Group, said the WHO report was “worrisome”.
Speaking to NDTV this morning, Mr Arora said that while there can be a 10-20% discrepancy, India’s robust and accurate death registration system (known as Civil Registration System, or CRS) ensures that a majority of virus-related deaths are covered.