The Central Council Of Health And Family Welfare Conference (CCHFW) comprising health ministers from 20 different states has slammed the World Health Organization (WHO) report on Covid deaths in India in the years 2020 and 2021. The CCHFW which includes health ministers from Congress-ruled states and states ruled by Congress allies has taken an opposite stand to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who used the flawed report to target the Indian government.
In its recent report on excess deaths due to Covid-19 in India, The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that nearly 47 lakh Indians died due to the pandemic collectively in the years 2020 and 2021. The figure by WHO contradicts heavily India’s official figure of casualties of 4.81 lakh at the end of 2021, going almost 10 times above it. On a rare occasion, health ministers from even the states ruled by opposition parties joined the central government to slam WHO’s claims.
On Friday, CCHFW passed a resolution that the assumptions and estimates made by WHO in its COVID-19 report were ‘flawed’ and ‘unacceptable’. After the Central Government slammed the report, the CCHFW comprising of health ministers from 20 states said, “The Council is ‘deeply disappointed and distressed’ with the WHO modelling which is based on ‘very high estimates’ of excess mortality in India during the pandemic.”
Headed by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in Gujarat’s Kevadia, the conference was led by state health ministers including those of Congress. When the report was published, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi attempted to ignite a political slugfest by backing the death estimate by WHO. “47 lakh Indians died due to the Covid pandemic. NOT 4.8 lakh as claimed by the Govt. Science doesn’t LIE. Modi does,” said Rahul Gandhi in a Tweet.
47 lakh Indians died due to the Covid pandemic. NOT 4.8 lakh as claimed by the Govt.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 6, 2022
Science doesn’t LIE. Modi does.
Respect families who’ve lost loved ones. Support them with the mandated ₹4 lakh compensation. pic.twitter.com/p9y1VdVFsA
However, Chhattisgarh health minister and Congress leader T. S. Singh Deo said at the conference that the WHO estimates were just ‘projections and extrapolations’ from estimates from other countries. “These are just projections and they are taking it far too seriously. It really doesn’t mean India saw so many deaths,” he said.
Punjab Health Minister from AAP Vijay Singla too alleged that WHO’s death estimate was “fabricated” and that it has not made a proper calculation to arrive at the figure of 47.4 lakh Covid-related deaths. “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,” he added.
With Congress health Minister Deo from Chattisgarh and other parties unequivocally condemning the WHO numbers, Rahul Gandhi has isolated himself in his failed attempt at targeting the government over the unscientific WHO report.