The Maharashtra government has not reported as many as 950 COVID-19 deaths from Mumbai, which amounts to violation of the ICMR guidelines, senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis alleged on Monday.
In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Fadnavis said, "Some 950 deaths due to COVID-19 are still not reported (in Mumbai). It is a very serious matter and risky as well".
As on June 14, the number of COVID-19 fatalities in worst-hit Mumbai stood at 2,182, as per the state government.
Fadnavis claimed 500 of the 950 deaths that had occurred in various hospitals in Mumbai were not even referred to the death audit committee.
"451 deaths have been termed as non-COVID deaths by the death audit committee. However, as per guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), all these deaths had occurred due to COVID-19," the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly alleged.
We demand a clarification on under whose pressure the committee reported those deaths as non-COVID-19, he said.
"The BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) has refused to follow the ICMR guidelines and certain deaths were not recorded as occurred due to COVID-19. Despite clear guidelines from the ICMR, why the audit committee showed those deaths as non-COVID-19 deaths?" questionned the former chief minister.
He said the action of the committee was not only condemnable but also criminal in nature.
"There is another incident where some 500 deaths that occurred in various hospitals in Mumbai were not even referred to the death audit committee. I want to know what action state is going to take," he said and demanded a stern action against the guilty.