Letter to Health Minister About Fake Covid Data in India

India’s Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan launching the COVID India Seva on April 21, 2020. Photo: GoI
India’s Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan launching the COVID India Seva on April 21, 2020. Photo: GoI

The data being released by the Indian government cannot be trusted as it is trying to understate the number of cases and deaths from coronavirus.

By Rakesh Raman

The Indian government – headed by PM Narendra Modi – has been releasing fake data and making false claims about the coronavirus (Covid-19) situation because the government completely failed to combat the ongoing health and economic crises in the country.

While Modi himself has been delivering useless speeches on his sudden TV appearances, he has kept a slew of dishonest bureaucrats and ministers who tell blatant lies about the Covid effect in India.

Although India is at No. 11 in the list of worst-hit countries, it still claims that (as of May 23) it has only 92 cases per 1 million people. In contrast, the U.S. has a whopping 4,964 cases, Russia has 2,289, U.K. has 3,826, and Spain has 4,992 cases per 1 million people.

In order to hide the Modi government’s repeated failures, the toady bureaucrats and ministers are concealing the actual Covid data or releasing misleading figures to bamboozle the gullible Indians and the global community.

As I have been closely monitoring the Covid crisis, I sent the following letter to Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India on May 21, 2020.

As expected, the minister could not provide the actual information on the following queries that I had sent. Obviously, the data being released by the government cannot be trusted as it is trying to understate the number of cases and deaths from coronavirus.

My letter is given below. [ You can also click here to download the letter. ]


To

Dr. Harsh Vardhan
Union Minister

Mr. Lav Agarwal
Joint Secretary
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
Government of India

May 21, 2020

Copy for Information and Necessary Action: Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO)

Editorial Inputs on Covid Crisis

Dear Dr. Harsh Vardhan,

I am a journalist and founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation. Earlier, I had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert.

Among other editorial projects, these days I also publish “Covid Health Bulletin” magazine that covers global coronavirus (Covid-19) news and views. As I am planning to write an article on the status of coronavirus in India, please send me your response on the following queries.

  1. How do you select people who should be tested for coronavirus (Covid-19) because there are reports that many people with coronavirus symptoms are not being tested?
  2. Besides basic diagnostic tests, which other tests are you doing to confirm a positive or a negative case?
  3. How many coronavirus tests were done during May 11 – May 20, 2020?
  4. How many false negative and false positive cases did you find during May 11 – May 20, 2020? And how do you handle these false cases because such cases can rapidly spread the virus in the country?
  5. Are you releasing correct data of coronavirus deaths because there are reports that the cause of deaths is being deliberately concealed on death certificates of people who die from coronavirus and the at-home deaths are not being counted?
  6. How do you count the actual number of coronavirus cases and deaths when the number of tests that you do is negligibly small? Do you agree that the actual number of coronavirus patients and deaths is much more than what you are reporting?
  7. As millions of migrant workers are going to villages without following the social-distancing guidelines and many of them may be infected, how do you count the coronavirus cases and deaths in India’s rural areas?
  8. How are you doing contact tracing and what action do you take after tracing the contacts? Can you publicly release the list including the addresses of permanent and makeshift quarantine centers in the country?
  9. You claim that the recovery rate in India is getting better. How do you measure recovery for each patient and what is the durability of recovery, as it is being observed that the recovered patients are again catching coronavirus infection?
  10. What mechanism do you have for surveillance testing? And how can you calculate recovery rate without having a robust surveillance testing system in place? Do you agree that recovery is a misleading parameter?
  11. While the number of cases and deaths (based on the insufficient data that you release) is increasing rapidly, what prompted you to lift lockdown restrictions without taking any preventive measures?
  12. Do you agree that the coronavirus cases and deaths are increasing after lifting the lockdown restrictions?
  13. Does the Government of India take responsibility for coronavirus contagion and the increasing number of deaths which are happening because of your negligence and inaction?
  14. Which factors will guide you to impose complete lockdown restrictions again or lift the restrictions all together?
  15. Can you stop releasing the fake or misleading data related to coronavirus in India?
  16. What national-level healthcare and administrative plan have you made to combat the second wave of coronavirus that is expected during July-September 2020?
  17. You can add any other information that you think is relevant.

Please send me your response to the above queries by tomorrow (Friday, May 22, 2020).

[ The latest issue of Covid Health Bulletin is attached for your reference. ]

Contact

Rakesh Raman
Raman Media Network [ Website ]
463, DPS Apts., Plot No. 16
Sector 4, Dwarka, Phase I
New Delhi 110 078, INDIA

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