BHOPAL: The second wave of Covid-19 is setting daily new marks in Madhya Pradesh. As numbers rise, the gap between the official death toll and actual number of cremations and burials is also increasing.
There is discrepancy in the tally released by the state government and the record at the facilities where last rites are held in the state capital of Bhopal.
As per figures from the three cremation/burial facilities only in Bhopal, as many as 597 bodies were cremated and buried following Covid-19 protocols from April 16 to April 20.
As per the state government data pertaining to Covid-19 patients, only 348 deaths were reported in the same period.
In Bhopal, Bhadbhada Cremation Ground, Subhash Nagar Cremation Ground and Jahagirabad Kabrastan have been designated for cremation and burial of Covid-19 victims.
The state government has denied that the death tally is incorrect.
Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang, who has been appointed the minister-in-charge for Bhopal district’s Covid control measures, said: “I’m saying this with responsibility again, the government doesn’t intend to hide Covid death figures. The government isn’t going to get any award for hiding figures.”
The opposition is seeing this as an opportunity to attack the BJP-led government. “This government is acting shamelessly. What will it achieve by concealing data of deaths, particularly when the media is showing aerial pictures of rows of funeral pyres not only in Bhopal, but also in other cities,” said Bhupendra Gupta, Congress leader.
Laad Singh, a staff at Bhadhbhada Cremation Ground, said: “Never have we witnessed such a huge rush of bodies. There are long queues of people in PPE kits waiting to cremate their loved ones. Pyres are lit up to 9 pm daily.”
The state on Wednesday reported 13,107 new coronavirus positive cases, its highest one-day rise since the pandemic began, the state health department said.
The state's caseload now stands at 4,46,811, it said.
With the death of 75 patients due to the infection in the last 24 hours, the fatality count grew to 4,788, the officials said.
So far in April, the state has recorded 1,51,300 new cases and 802 fatalities.
A total of 9,035 patients were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, taking the recovery count in Madhya Pradesh to 3,59,755, the department said.
With 1,781 new cases, Indore's caseload went up to 94,549, while that of Bhopal rose to 73,676 with the addition of 1,709 cases.
Indore reported seven deaths, taking the toll in the district to 1,069, while the number of fatalities in Bhopal rose to 687 as five more patients died, the officials said.
Indore is now left with 13,074 active cases, while Bhopal has 9,057 such cases.
The number of active cases in the state rose to 82,268.
With 54,548 new tests, the total number of samples tested for coronavirus in Madhya Pradesh has crossed 72.33 lakh.
The coronavirus figures in MP are as follows: Total cases 4,46,811, new cases 13,107, death toll 4,788, recovered 3,59,755, active cases 82,268, number of tests so far 72,33,580.
(With PTI Inputs)
WHICH ONE RIGHT?
April 20: Official toll 77 Cremation/burial 148.
April 19: Official toll 79 Cremation/burial 127.
April 18: Official toll 66 Cremation/burial 112.
April 17: Official toll 66 Cremation/burial 92.
April 16: Death toll 60 Cremation/burial 112.