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Wednesday 3 June 2020

COVID cases, deaths vastly underreported, estimates a doctor

While the government says 3,720 people have died of COVID in the country, this doctor says at least 2,000 must have perished in Delhi alone

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In a conversation between a doctor, who works with Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi besides running his own hospital, it comes out that the government of India, in general, and that of Delhi, in particular, is underreporting the number of active cases and deaths by the coronavirus disease (COVID) by a huge margin. The doctor tells the caller that while he is unable to get a clearance for transportation from Village Chhalera — a settlement near Sector 44, NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh — the green signal to so many people to move out and run businesses have aggravated the coronavirus contagion.

The doctor is heard saying that on a day alone, the day India observed Janata Curfew on 24 March, there were 32 deaths in the Safdarjung Hospital. All COVID deaths!

Editor’s note: The Janata Curfew was observed on 22 March, not 24 March

The doctor holds that the government — he does not mention which one — is giving out all false figures. Relying on the World Health Organisation (WHO), the doctor says that the UN body estimates that by 15 August when the nation celebrates its Independence Day, India will have about 2.5 crore active COVID cases.

Urging the caller to desist from attending his office, although the government has allowed people to, the doctor says that social distancing is the most crucial measure public can take to save itself from the virus.

Sirf News couldn’t verify the veracity of this telephone conversation that a subscriber sent to the media house.

India recorded the biggest single-day jump in the number of coronavirus cases with 6,654 new patients in the last 24 hours that takes the total to 1,25,101 cases, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said today. The country has registered 3,720 deaths linked to COVID-19 so far.

The doctor in the call says at least 2,000 people might have died in Delhi alone. He also questions why the union health ministry has stopped the daily briefings at 4 PM.

The government had said yesterday that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and deaths due to it have remained confined to limited areas, most of which are urban, due to the implementation of the lockdown. 

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