Could the Delhi government have failed to report as many as 1114 COVID-19 deaths? Data shared by Delhi's civic bodies indicates so.
In a meeting held on Thursday where Mayors of three Municipal Corporation Department zones – North, South and East - were present, the Standing Committee chairpersons stated that from March till June 10 2098 COVID-19 positive victims had been laid to rest. A further 200-plus among those cremated were suspected to have been COVID positive.
"While in South MCD zone there were 1080 bodies (cremated), there were 976 in North MCD and 42 in East MCD in the respective crematorium grounds. The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) figures were low because the bodies were taken to Nigambodh Ghat. But now the crematorium grounds under EDMC are also being prepared," said Bhupinder Gupta, South MCD Standing Committee Chairperson.
According to the Delhi government's health bulletin, the death toll was at 984 till June 9.
Last month also the MCD had put the death toll at 800 based on the number of bodies cremated at a time when Delhi government data only showed 250 deaths.
Meanwhile, to cope up with the increasing number of bodies, the Punjabi Bagh crematorium, under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, has been dedicated only for COVID-19 fatalities. The East MCD's crematoriums at Seemapuri and Ghazipur have also been opened up to reduce pressure on Nigambodh Ghat.
The MCDs have now been allowed to use wood as well for cremations as the grounds were running out of CNG fuel since the number of COVID victims had increased.