In 20 months, only 4% of deaths in Karnataka due to Covid-19 | Bengaluru News – Times of India
While the government has attributed the deaths to 221 diseases, opposition parties have demanded a death audit
BENGALURU: Health minister K Sudhakar on Monday told the legislative council that as many as 4.6 lakh people died in Karnataka in the past eight months, while the state recorded nearly 9.5 lakh deaths overall since January 1, 2020. However, he said, only 37,423 died due to Covid-19 since the onset of the pandemic last year.
Data from the office of the chief registrar for births and deaths, Karnataka, shows a little over five lakh people overall died in 2019, while the figure stood at a little more than 4.8 lakh in the previous year (2018). Fatalities in the first eight months this year have already overtaken those figures.
Responding to a question raised by UB Venkatesh of the Congress on Covid-19 fatalities in Karnataka, Sudhakar said the 9.5 lakh fatalities were attributed to as many 221 diseases. “Moreover, we have seen a pattern of 46 critical illnesses which has resulted in the deaths of a majority of people since 2020,” said the minister.
But opposition MLCs from the Congress and JD(S) were critical of the government and claimed the information provided by the minister is far from the truth. They said the number of deaths due to the pandemic appears to have been grossly under-reported and the figures do not add up.
“Can anyone believe that only 37,000 people died due to Covid in the past one year when the total number of deaths recorded is over nine lakh?” wondered Venkatesh. “The government is trying to under-report deaths to avoid paying compensation of Rs 1 lakh to each of the victim’s families who have died due to Covid.”
The Congress demanded a death audit, while alleging that several of those who died in villages and in their own homes have not been accounted for under Covid deaths.
However, Sudhakar said Covid deaths are diligently recorded by the health department as they must be accounted for in the ICMR portal within 24 hours.
“The other deaths are recorded 48 hours after the incident on average,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sudhakar also informed the council that as many as 5.2 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in Karnataka.
26% fully vaccinated
Responding to a question raised by Allam Veerabhadrappa of the Congress, Sudhakar said: “Of the doses administered, 75% of the population has been vaccinated with at least one dose and 26% has been fully vaccinated [both doses].”
He said the government is keeping track of the “seasonal flu” which appears to be primarily infecting children in the state and said additional tests are being conducted to identify whether there is any other virus which is infecting people besides the novel coronavirus.