Angul: It has been more than a year since the first case of Covid-19 was reported in Angul district. The first Covid-19 case in the district was registered May 10, 2020. The total number of cases reported from the district has been a little over 20,000 while more than 100 have died due to the virus. However, sources said Tuesday the figures regarding fatality have been fudged by the government.
A number of residents alleged that Covid-19 patients are dying every day and bodies are being cremated at Karadagadia cremation ground. “Last year 51 bodies were cremated and one was buried. However, the government figure shows 37 deaths. So there is discrepancy,” they pointed out.
“During this second wave of the pandemic, patients are dying on a daily basis. The way the bodies of the deceased pile up at the cremation spot is ample proof of the high number of fatalities. So far 52 bodies have been cremated the Karadagadia crematorium. However, the government says that 47 Covid-19 patients have died,” they added.
Noted advocate Bhupesh Chandra Pradhan expressed his concern at the fudging of data regarding fatalities. He alleged that hundreds of Covid-19 patients have died. However, the government has listed only one per cent of those as Covid-19 deaths. This is not acceptable at all. Families of the deceased have the right to know the reason of death for their loved ones, he said.
Additional district medical officer (PH)/Covid manager, Dr Dhananjay Behera the bodies of the Covid-19 patients, the bodies are being brought to the old mortuary. They are sent to the Karadagadia cremation ground only after getting the nod from the district collector.
When contacted, District Collector Siddharth Shankar Swain had an explanation to offer. He said the district health department is providing the list of Covid-19 deaths to the state government after conducting an audit.
The district Tuesday reported 526 new cases and four more fatalities. With this, the district’s tally and toll have gone up to 19,625 and 47 respectively.