Govt dismisses NYT report on Covid toll, terms it completely baseless

0 13

The government on Thursday dismissed as “completely baseless” a recent New York Times report on Covid-19 toll in India, saying it is not backed by any evidence.

At a press conference, the Union health ministry said the report is absolutely false and based on “distorted estimates”.

The report titled “Just how big could India’s true Covid toll be” estimated 600,000 deaths due to the infection in the country in a conservative scenario, 1.6 million estimated deaths in a more likely scenario and 4.2 million estimated deaths in a worse scenario.

Dismissing the report, Health ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said, “It is completely baseless and absolutely false and not backed on any evidence.”

“The question does not arise that Covid-related deaths are getting concealed because since the beginning, our efforts have been that all cases and deaths are reported in a transparent manner. It is also necessary so that we can understand the overall trajectory of infection and what efforts have to be made so that required actions can be taken for it,” he said.

NITI Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul said the report is based on distorted estimates.

“The estimates have been done ad-hoc without any basis… reported cases are a part of a larger universe of total infections in any country,” he said.

He said the problem in the analysis arises “when certain number is thrown as mortality rate out of that infection”.

“If we go with our sero survey, then infection related mortality is 0.05 per cent and actual mortality is 1.1 per cent… They are taking 0.3 per cent – 6 times – on what basis has it been decided that it is 0.3 per cent of that large infection number – no basis at all,” Paul said.

He further said that if the same method is used, then by that estimate New York reported 50,000 deaths in May.

“I make it six times, it is 90,000 deaths and if I do it 12 times, it is 1.75 lakh deaths but they don’t say that, they say it is 16,000. What I mean to say here is this is a distorted estimate for mortality. For infection estimate, they used our data only from January which can still be acceptable,” Paul said.

“On what basis this group pulls out infection mortality rate of 0.3 per cent in one scenario and 0.15 another scenario and 0.6 in another scenario? On what basis, this is just an assumption and a feeling of some people and this is something that should have been not published particularly in so called prestigious publication. I submit that we have a strong mortality tracking system which has stood the test of time,” he said.

Paul said there might be deaths where testing was not done but “outrageous factor suddenly without any basis and just on assumption is not fair and we don’t accept it”.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor



source

You might also like
Leave A Reply

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More