The Orissa High Court has pointed out several discrepancies in a government affidavit regarding the deaths due to the coronavirus pandemic. Government figures showed that the state recorded 3,097 deaths only in 47 days between July 15 and August 31 this year.
“Earlier, it was reported that there were 4,925 deaths as of July 15, 2021," the court said on Tuesday. “(But) the affidavit of September 6, 2021, shows there were 8,022 deaths in Odisha due to the pandemic as on August 31, 2021", it said.
The court questioned the manner in which these figures have been arrived at. It asked the government to file a fresh affidavit by October and adjourned the matter to October 7.
A division bench, headed by Chief Justice S Muralidhar, is adjudicating over a writ petition that sought a direction to the Union government for facilitating Covid vaccination for the elderly and differently-abled citizens of Odisha.
The high court questioned the estimated target population of elderly population and asked the state government to clarify whether the target has been fixed on the basis of the 2011 Census or the estimated figure of 2021.
“These figures also do not address the issue of the persons with disabilities and the peculiar problems they have, irrespective of age, in receiving the vaccines," the court observed.