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Tamil Nadu CM trashes opposition claim of ‘under-reporting’ of Covid deaths

Recently, 444 deaths were added to Chennai’s list of virus deaths after a death reconciliation committee recommended it following scrutiny.

Updated: Aug 07, 2020 00:57 IST

By Press Trust of India| Posted by: Harshit Sabarwal, Madurai

In recent days, less than 6,000 samples turn positive out of about 60,000 (average) specimens in Tamil Nadu. (AP file photo. Representative image)

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Thursday dismissed as baseless opposition claims of under-reporting of Covid-19 deaths in the state, asserting that the government was transparent on disseminating all data, including those related to fatalities.

The government does not stand to gain anything by concealing information related to the illness, including deaths, he said.

“On what basis are they making the allegation? data on death and those related to people being treated are being released transparently,” he told reporters here when asked about the DMK’s charge that actual deaths were not reported.

“There is no need to hide. What is the gain for the government?” he asked adding such accusations were “not true, unfounded and baseless.” DMK chief and Leader of Opposition in Assembly M K Stalin had alleged that the government suppressed information on Covid-19 deaths.



Recently, 444 deaths were added to Chennai’s list of virus deaths after a death reconciliation committee recommended it following scrutiny.

Till date 4,571 people have died, including 110 reported today.

Giving an illustration on how delayed reporting happened, Palaniswami said “a few people die after going home following treatment and such cases do not get accounted for in time.” Such a trend was not seen in Tamil Nadu alone but also in states like Maharashtra and the national capital region of Delhi, he said.

“Tamil Nadu is the state to have done maximum testing. When we do more testing, we prevent the chances of the spread of the virus by treating the infected...

“They (opposition) don’t have a heart to appreciate (the efforts of the government), the opposition will talk only like that, have they ever spoken the truth?” he asked, adding the disease spread was seeing a dip.

“During these challenging times, it has become a regular feature (for opposition) to level charges,” he said.

To a question on the high number of positive cases in Tamil Nadu, where the tally stood at 2,79,144, he said it only reflected aggressive testing while other states did not detect cases rapidly.

The cases might appear to be on the higher side now, but Tamil Nadu would not be affected with more cases in future in view of a slew of measures, including testing, he said.

Also, the positivity rate in the state was low while in states like Andhra Pradesh it was high, he said.

“If 25,000 people are tested about 10,000 turn positive in Andhra Pradesh, if we test about 60,000 how many people test positive for coronavirus?” he asked.

In recent days, less than 6,000 samples turn positive out of about 60,000 (average) specimens in Tamil Nadu.

On the “absence of details on tests in districts,” he said, district wise data has been released thrice adding data collation was a time consuming exercise.

“Test results are now being released in about 24 hours.

This is an improvement,” he added.

The chief minister hit out at the opposition saying “posing questions” alone was their task while only those who worked in the government had responsibility and understood the difficulties involved.

To a question on e-passes for inter-district travel, he said issuance of the passes has been simplified and an additional team deployed for the task.

“The restriction mandating e-pass is only to see that people do not travel unnecessarily,” he added.

Stalin has urged the government to do away with the e-pass system, saying it was causing difficulties to people.

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