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Government underreporting Covid-19 deaths, Edappadi K Palaniswami

- May 28, 2021

Chennai, May 28(BPNS)

Former Chief minister of Tamil Nadu and leader of opposition in the state assembly Edappadi K Palaniswami in a statement has charged that the state government is under-reporting the number of deaths due to Covid-19 and that a factual reporting only would make people aware of the situation.

The AIADMK state coordinator said that long queues are seen near the crematoriums in Tamil Nadu but the figures reported in the news media are low. He said that if these figures are reported low then people won’t become aware of the grave situation.

He also said that AIADMK was not doing politics and that his view was that comments should be made only after 100 days of the government  but was forced to act following the Covid -19 pandemic as well as the criticisms leveled against the previous government.

Edappadi K Palaniswami said ,”When deaths are under reported the relatives of the deceased would display the bodies for long hours at home and this would lead to super spreads. Patients who die in ambulances waiting at hospitals must be tested for Covid-19  and if they test positive their bodies must be safely packed before handed over to the relatives.”.

The former Chief minister also said that there is an acute shortage of medical professionals including doctors, nurses and other technicians and said that existing health care workers including doctors are tired by continuous duty.

Edappadi K Palaniswami charged on the relaxations provided by the government and said that around 6 lakh people returned to their villages prior to the stringent lockdown from the cities and they were not tested for Covid-19.  He said ,” During the AIADMK regime, when people arrived at villages from cities they were tested for Covid-19 and were allowed entry to their homes only if they were tested negative and this helped in curtailing the spread in villages.”

Palaniswami said that on Friday his village Edappadi alone recorded 17 positive cases and this is an example as to how fast the disease is spreading across rural Tamil Nadu.

He advised the state government to follow the measures taken by the AIADMK government and called upon the government to conduct fever camps and increase the test and testing centres.

The former Chief minister denied the charges levied by the state health minister Ma Subramaniam that the previous AIADMK government failed to prevent the spread of the disease. Quoting figures he said that the highest number of cases reported was 6900 cases in June and with the effort of the government the figures came down and by February 26, 2021 it was only 481 cases.

He said ,”When the model code of conduct came into effect following declaration of elections in the state, I wrote a letter to the  Election commission of India to conduct a meeting of the Chief secretary and district collectors when the case load increased ,but they denied and said that Chief secretary would conduct a meeting of district collectors and medical experts.”

The leader of opposition also said that it was the comments made by the present Chief minister MK Stalin who was then the opposition leader  that led to the slowing down of the vaccination drive in the state and added that there was enough vaccine stock and was administered through PHC’s and government hospitals.

The senior leader also appealed to the government to provide relief and immediate assistance to the farmers affected by rains due to the Yaas cyclone in Kanyakumari. He also said that there was shortage of oxygen beds in Kanyakumari district and said ,” While there was only 3800 beds in Covid-19 care centres, government has claimed that 11,500 beds are available and added that the district collector must report on the bed availability in the Covid Care Centres and hospitals so that people could directly go to these hospitals.”