With Haryana forced to impose a weeklong lockdown due to the increase in the number of cases, the gap between the official death toll and the actual death toll is also widening. On May 3, Haryana recorded the highest number of 12,885 new cases with 140 deaths.
But the real numbers seem to tell a different story. The number of COVID-19 patients who have died and are cremated or buried in Haryana is believed to be much higher than official statistics show.
Let’s take a look at the Panipat district of Haryana. According to the daily Haryana government bulletin, Panipat recorded nine deaths on May 3. However, according to the crematorium, 16 bodies, which were COVID-19 positive, were cremated yesterday.
According to data collected by NewVSlick in Panipat over the past three days, it was revealed that the government only reported half of the deaths. According to government statistics, there were nine deaths in Panipat on May 2, but 14 COVID-19 bodies were cremated, according to the crematorium. On May 1, 31 COVID-19 bodies were cremated as government data showed just 12.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak in India last year, Chaman Lal Gulati has cremated / buried COVID-19 corpses in Panipat. He is affiliated with Jan Seva Dal, an organization responsible for cremating and burying COVID-19 bodies in Panipat. Talk with NewVSlick, Gulati said the government is covering up the real death toll.
“We cremate / bury twice as many people as the government posts in Panipat. We bury and cremate according to COVID-19 protocols and according to the wishes of the family. Few people want to do rituals (for the last rites) and a lot less want to do it in another way. We do what they want, ”said Gulati NewVSlick.
Gulati claimed that since the morning of May 4, he had cremated 12 COVID bodies and that four more were pending. The total number of COVID-19-related deaths is 228 according to government records, while the crematorium claims 440 COVID-19 deaths in Panipat in April and the first three days of May.
Read also: Mammoth underreporting in MP: Govt says 104 COVID-19 Deaths in Bhopal, Crematoriums Say 2557
In Bhiwani district of Haryana, according to government data, nine people died from COVID-19 on May 3, as crematoria said NewVSlick that 11 COVID-19 bodies were cremated.
“In the name of the corpses, the government is deceiving the public. In hospitals, there are no beds available. People often die while the numbers are hidden. I sent a letter to higher authorities. I would take my case to the High Court if nothing is done, ”said Brijpal Singh of Swastha Shikasha Sahyog Sangathan, an organization responsible for cremating and burying bodies in Bhiwani district.
In Jajjhar District, Haryana, no COVID-19-related deaths were reported in the daily government bulletin, while the crematorium claimed 20 bodies were cremated. “There are 12 Shamshanghats (crematoria) in Jajjhar. About 20 COVID-19 bodies were cremated in Jajjhar by Nagar Nigams. The government doesn’t want the public to know the real situation, ”alleged Surender Chugh of the Moksha Committee which keeps track of deaths from COVID-19 in the district.
According to reports, the government’s total of 1,225 COVID-19 deaths in April is three times lower than the data provided by crematoria. According to the crematorium facilities, due to the increase in the number of deaths from COVID-19 in April, the number of grounds for cremation has also been increased.
On April 20, two new crematorium grounds were provided to Panipat, according to Gulati. “The floor of the crematorium, which we call Swarg Puri, where we cremated the bodies, could hold up to 20 bodies. The two new crematoria that have been given to us can each contain 15 bodies, ”he said.
Also read: 12 reasons why the second wave of COVID-19 is a man-made disaster
In Rohtak, of them new crematoria were built in the same way. The third crematorium in Jind district in Haryana has been set aside for deaths from COVID-19. In Kurukshetra, due to the increasing death toll, 27 crematoriums and cemeteries have been designated for those dying from COVID-19.
meanwhile at Ambala district, the large number of corpses had increased the pressure on the tight cremation spaces. As a result, several corpses were left half-burnt after being extinguished.
The death toll in Gurgaon has also increased dramatically. According to reports, there is a significant disparity between official estimates and actual results. According to government figures, 112 people died from COVID-19 in April in the Delhi border district, but the number of deaths reported by the crematorium department was 1,350. The death toll in the neighborhood rose so rapidly that the bodies had to be cremated in the crematorium parking lot.
Haryana has 22 districts and each district reported data discrepancies. According to a report in the popular Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar, government statistics showed 1,225 deaths from COVID-19 in April, however, according to crematoria authorities, 3,814 bodies were cremated following COVID-19 protocols during the month, three times the data mentioned by the government.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar previously described the massive increase in COVID-19 cases as an “unexpected tsunami”. “It is expected that flooding may occur during the rainy season, but no one expects a tsunami,” he said.
So why is the government withholding the death toll? Experts say the number of deaths from COVID-19 is underestimated so the government is avoiding accountability. Initially, the government said everything was under control; now they try to keep pretending.
Also read: Bodies continue to arrive in Kanpur crematoriums, official virus death toll says