KOLKATA: Senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury alleged on Tuesday that the number of deaths happening in West Bengal due to COVID-19 is being under- reported.
He alleged that private hospitals in the state are "hiding" COVID-19 deaths, fearing that patients would avoid those establishments if the cause of the fatalities are reported.
"The state government is underreporting deaths caused due to COVID-19, there is no proper mechanism in the rural areas to ascertain whether a person has died of coronavirus infection or some other disease," he said in a video message.
COVID-19 is not a political issue but one that is affecting the lives of everyone, Chowdhury said, asking the people of the state to take precautions.
"People are also hiding symptoms of COVID-19 fearing that they or their family members will be stigmatised," he said.
Chowdhury, the leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, also alleged that reasons for the death of a person are not being given in rural hospitals.
"Panchayat pradhans issue death certificates in many villages of West Bengal and most of the panchayats in the state are held by the ruling party," he claimed.
"Medical certificates for the cause of death are not given in most non-urban areas of the state, leading to under- reporting of deaths due to COVID-19," he said.