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Congress accuses Gujarat govt of hiding Covid-19 deaths, testing figures

The Congress further demanded that the state government collect the real figures of casualties from villages, hospitals and crematoriums


Representational image (Photo: Reuters)

Press Trust of India Ahmedabad
The Gujarat Congress on Friday accused the BJP-led state government of failing to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and hiding figures of casualties and testing in the state.
The opposition party demanded imposition of strict control measures such as closure of activities for five days till January 26 to break the chain of the COVID-19 "tsunami" that has struck Gujarat.
The Congress further demanded that the state government collect the real figures of casualties from villages, hospitals and crematoriums and provide Rs 4 compensation to the kin of deceased persons.
Speaking at a press conference, former Gujarat Congress president Siddharth Patel said the state government was taking the "COVID-19 tsunami" lightly.
"If strict control is imposed by declaring a five-day closure, including Saturday, Sunday and on January 26, it may help break the chain of the COVID-19 spread," he said.
"However, due to the BJP government's lack of willpower, the citizens of Gujarat are suffering. The BJP government has completely failed in managing the COVID-19 pandemic and is resorting to hiding death and testing figures," Patel said.
State Congress president Jagdish Thakor said, "People's hope of getting proper health care, treatment and other facilities during the global pandemic has been dashed. The government has been taking efforts to hide the figures related to testing, deaths, infected people, etc."

More than three lakh people have lost their lives to COVID-19 so far in Gujarat because of clumsy administration and criminal negligence of the state government, he alleged.
"Though over three lakh people in the state have lost their lives due to lack of healthcare facilities including hospital beds, oxygen, and medicines, the BJP government has only given out the figure of around 10,000, Thakor claimed.
The state government has admitted before the Supreme Court that out of 91,810 applications for Rs 50,000 government compensation to the kin of people who died of COVID-19, 58,840 applications have been accepted, around 11,000 are under process and 15,000 pending, he said.
This death figure was revealed only after repeated admonition by the Supreme Court in the face of the state government's reluctance to pay compensation to the families of the deceased, the Congress leader said.
If the BJP government had been determined to compensate families of the deceased, it could have collected the real figures at the village-level from gram sabhas and hospitals and crematoriums, he added.
Meanwhile, the ruling BJP rejected the opposition's claims, terming it as a cheap publicity attempt.
The government and ruling party are working in sync to ensure that the public do not have to suffer due to the pandemic by strengthening the health care system and covering maximum eligible beneficiaries for vaccination, BJP leader Rutvij Patel said.
Both the chief minister and the state president have stood firmly with the people during the COVID-19 crisis, he said.
"Members of the party have been working with the people to support them, while the Congress is making allegations without facts for cheap publicity, said Patel, who is co-spokesperson of BJP Gujarat.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jan 21 2022 | 7:59 PM IST

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