Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar retaliated today over opposition BJP’s allegations of under-reporting in Covid deaths, remarking that there are no rivers in the city where bodies can be dumped. Under-reporting of cases have been a huge issue in some of the states, especially in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and Bihar — where bodies buried in the sandbanks of Ganga and floating down the river caused massive shock and outrage last month.
“Data of Covid deaths are not being hidden,” Ms Pednekar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“No data is being hidden in Mumbai. There is no river in Mumbai where bodies of people succumbing to Corona are being dumped. All Covid deaths in Mumbai are recorded at three places, so the data can’t be hidden,” she added.
Maharashtra was criticised regularly by the BJP over its huge Covid numbers in both the first and second waves of the disease, till Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked that a high number of tests can reveal high Covid figures and that was the need of the hour to rein in the pandemic.
With 15,947 active cases, Mumbai’s management of Covid in the second wave has been seen as exemplary and the city has recovered fast from the ravages of the virus. It was even praised by the Supreme Court, which during a hearing on the oxygen shortage last month, said, “The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has done a remarkable job”.
The country’s official data for the second wave of Covid-19 has been questioned by many since images from crematoriums and graveyards were carried by publications across the world.
The thousands of anonymous graves on the sandbanks of river Ganga and the bodies floating down the river made it a matter of certainty that the actual numbers of people who died due to Covid may never be known.