Stating that that the recent WHO report on COVID excess deaths “intended to show the country in a poor light”, health ministers of different states slammed the health both at the 14th conference of the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare (CCHFW) on Saturday, 7 May.
Released on, 5 May, the WHO report suggest that India experienced 4.7 million excess deaths in 2020 and 2021, as compared to the country's official COVID-19 toll of 481,000 for the same period.
The three-day conference, chaired by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, began on 6 May in Gujarat’s Kevaria. According to PTI, a resolution was passed on 6 May at the conference strongly objecting to WHO’s estimates, calling it “unacceptable” and that the modelling methodology used to reach the figure was “flawed".
"Despite India's objection to the process, methodology and outcome of this modelling exercise, WHO has released the excess mortality estimates without adequately addressing India's concerns," the Union Health Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
"There is no rationale behind the modelling methodology used by WHO to arrive at the estimate. All health ministers at the conference here have condemned the report and passed a resolution against it. We have urged Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to convey India's disappointment to WHO and raise it at higher international forums," reported PTI, quoting Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar.
"India has a strong data collection system and there is no reason to doubt its authenticity. The modelling methodology used by the global health body was not scientific," reported PTI, quoting Punjab Health Minister Vijay Singla.
Calling the figures “erroneous” and not based on ”sound mathematics”, Madhya Pradesh Minister of Medical Education Vishwas Sarang alleged there was a conspiracy to belittle India's achievements on the COVID-19 front.
Meanwhile, the Congress on Friday demanded the constitution of a Covid commission and a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families who lost their members in the pandemic.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra accused the government of "fudging" figures amid a shortage of oxygen in the country during the second COVID-19 wave.
"During the COVID tragedy, when crores of people were pleading for oxygen, medicines and hospital beds for their families, the whole emphasis of the government was on the fudging of figures. The countrymen should know what is the truth after all," Vadra asserted in a tweet.