Rahul Trivedi All materialsIndia’s main opposition party Congress has regularly slammed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government for allegedly concealing the number of deaths due to the pandemic, and even demanded that compensation be provided to the families of those who died of COVID.Rahul Gandhi, former general secretary of Congress, on Sunday attacked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led federal government over deaths due to COVID in India and reiterated the demand for providing compensation of INR 400,000 ($5,240) to all the families of the deceased.Referring to a report published in The New York Times that claimed India is stalling the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) effort to make a global COVID death count, Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi neither speaks the truth nor lets others speak. He still lies that no one died due to oxygen shortage!”
“I said earlier also – due to the negligence of the government during COVID, not 500,000, but four million Indians died. Mr Modi please fulfil your responsibility and pay compensation of INR 400,000 ($5,240) to every family where people have died of COVID”, he said further in his tweet.
On Saturday, the federal Health Ministry raised an objection to the WHO’s methodology of estimating COVID-19 mortalities in the country.In an official statement, it said that the same mathematical model cannot be used to calculate COVID mortalities in a large country like India, geographically and population-wise, and in other countries with a smaller population.The statement came in response to a New York Times article titled “India Is Stalling WHO’s Efforts to Make Global Covid Death Toll Public”, dated 16 April.According to the report, the WHO has estimated a total of about 15 million deaths related to the virus as of the end of 2021, more than double the official figures reported by countries individually. The report claimed the WHO estimate will show that India’s death toll is at least four million, almost eight times the official number.