Amid False Coronavirus Data, India Becomes Global Epicenter of the Pandemic

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on January 20, 2020. Photo: PIB (file photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on January 20, 2020. Photo: PIB (file photo)

India has become the global epicenter of the pandemic which will have serious consequences for the entire world.

By Rakesh Raman

While India has become the global hotspot of coronavirus (COVID-19) contagion, the Indian government is sharing fake data about the number of cases.

The government claims that as of today (May 2), there were only about 37,000 coronavirus cases with a little over 1,200 deaths in India which has a population of 1.4 billion.

But these are clearly understated figures because India is hardly doing any tests to count the number of cases. Independent research reports suggest that India will have around 1.3 million coronavirus cases by mid-May and the infection will eventually reach 20% of the population or nearly 300 million (30 crore) people.

It is also believed that thousands of people have already died, but the government is not showing them as coronavirus deaths. On average, nearly 1 million people die every month in India. It is very easy to hide a few thousand coronavirus deaths in this number and show these deaths from other causes. That’s what the India’s central as well as state governments are probably doing.

[ Also Read: 10 Reasons Why You Must Not Trust India’s Coronavirus Data ]

Now the attempts of various state governments to hide the correct coronavirus data are getting exposed. In West Bengal, for example, it is alleged that the state government is not releasing the actual data. Governor Jagdeep Dhankar has accused chief minister Mamata Banerjee of hiding details regarding COVID-19 cases in the state and asked her to release the actual figures.

“Give up ‘COVID-19 data cover-up operation’ Mamata Banerjee and share it transparently,” Governor Jagdeep Dhankar tweeted today, adding that the state’s health bulletin on April 30 put the coronavirus cases at 572 and said there was no update the next day.

[ Coronavirus Deaths Increasing in India, But Govt Allows Movement of People ]

But Mamata Banerjee is not alone who wants to conceal the true information about the impact of coronavirus. Recent reports reveal that the number of COVID-19 patients in Ahmedabad city of Gujarat alone may touch 800,000 by the end of May.

Similarly, other states such as Bihar, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu have hundreds of thousands of coronavirus cases and thousands of deaths which are not being reported truthfully.

The Indian government headed by PM Narendra Modi as well as various state governments are telling blatant lies because if they tell the truth, the blame will come on them that they are not able to control the damage from coronavirus. But during the past couple of months, the central as well as state governments could not make any arrangement to deal with the crisis which is exacerbating.

The carelessness of the Indian politicians and bureaucrats is reflected in the fact that during nearly 2 months of lockdown (the current lockdown phase will expire on May 17), they could not make any plan to combat coronavirus.

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Since India has become the global epicenter of the pandemic which will have serious consequences for the entire world, the global agencies such as the UN, WHO, European Union, and the U.S. Congress must intervene to help the Modi government deal with coronavirus effectively in order to save millions of lives.

These global agencies must begin by asking the Modi government to release actual coronavirus data.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.

He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications and research reports on different subjects. These publications include the “Covid Health Bulletin” that covers global coronavirus news and views.

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Rakesh Raman