The Gujarat government Saturday defended itself against a media report that cited a high number of death certificates being issued during second wave of Covid-19. The government said there could be a gap between actual death figures and number of death certificates issued.
“Counting the number of deaths by adding up death certificates is not correct. It is also inappropriate to compare death certificates and Covid-19 deaths… Multiple registrations of a single death cannot be ruled out. So, there could be a gap between the actual death figures and death certificates issued,” state Minister for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja said.
Jadeja also said that the state government is not hiding Covid death figures as reported by a vernacular daily. Briefing media persons in Gandhinagar, the minister said that many times people delayed registering the deaths in their families. “The state government is following established norms for reporting Covid-19 deaths. Many times, people also want post-Covid deaths to be counted (as Covid fatality). But the Gujarat government is following norms followed by other states,” Jadeja said. He added the state government has also allowed late death registrations for a year without collecting late fee due to the pandemic.
Additional Chief Secretary for Home, Pankaj Kumar, who was also present at the briefing, said, “There is a time lag between death, registration of death and issuance of death certificates and so to analyse death certificates is incorrect.” Kumar also cited examples of multiple death registrations in the state. “We have seen two to three cases. The registration of a deceased in Amreli happened twice. Similarly, multiple death registrations have happened at Tilakwada in Narmada district,” he added.