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Mismatch in COVID-19 death toll in Delhi, claim civic bodies

There, however, seems to be confusion on the protocol being followed for cremation and burial in this period.

Published: 23rd May 2020 07:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd May 2020 07:57 AM   |  A+A-

Health workers wear protective gear sanitize their body during the nation wide lockdown in New Delhi on Saturday. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: After the mismatch on Covid toll, the Delhi government finds itself in a spot of bother with the civic bodies coming up with more numbers which they claim are from crematoriums and burial grounds. As per the MCDs, there were 559 cremations and burials till May 17 ever since the pandemic broke out in the city. “The Delhi government had asked for figures and we gave them figures of how many bodies have been cremated or buried, so there is no question of us (MCDs) hiding any fact or data. Also, there is no discrepancy over bodies as they are specifically mentioned by hospitals — which one is suspected and which one tested positive. MCDs are simply maintaining the list,” said North MCD Standing Committee chairperson Jai Prakash. The official Covid toll was 160 on May 17.

There, however, seems to be confusion on the protocol being followed for cremation and burial in this period. While one MCD official said there is only one protocol for cremation or burial, another official stated that there are two protocols — one for positive and suspect cases, and the other for deaths due to other causes. Dismissing the discrepancy claims, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said no Covid death was missed in the official count.

The South MCD had sent a letter to the Delhi Health Secretary dated on May 17 on which details of cremation ground have been mentioned stating report of burial and cremation of persons, both Covid suspect and confirmed.

Till May 16, the letter says  there have been 177 cremations at Punjabi Bagh crematorium of which 162 are corona positive and 15 are suspected. At ITO Kabristan, there were 129 burials of which 61 are positive cases and 68 suspects. At Madanpur Khadar burial ground, one positive case was confirmed later. Overall, there have been 307 cremations of which 224 are confirmed Covid cases and 83 are suspect. On the same day, counts from cremation grounds under the North MCD were also sent to the Delhi govt which states that 252 cremations and burials have  taken place out of which 202 are confirmed cases patients and 50 are suspected.

At Nigam Bodh Ghat, there has been 241 cremation of which 191 are confirmed cases and 50 are suspected. At Muslim Burial Ground Mangol Puri, there are 10 cases of which all are positive ones. One confirmed case was buried at Christian cemetery.

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