WHO reptort: 4.7 million people died in India due to Covid, Opposition seeks higher compensation

NEW DELHI: The Congress party on Friday demanded a hefty rise in compensation for the families of those who died of COVID-19, after the Worl...


NEW DELHI: The Congress party on Friday demanded a hefty rise in compensation for the families of those who died of COVID-19, after the World Health Organization estimated the country's toll was nearly 10 times the reported figure.

The Central Government has rejected the WHO estimate released on Thursday that 4.7 million people died in India as a result of the pandemic until last year, when hospitals ran out of oxygen and beds due to a record wave driven by the Delta variant. 

India has reported only 524,002 COVID-19 deaths - the most after the United States and Brazil - with more than 43 million infections. Actual infections are believed to be in the hundreds of millions in the country of 1.35 billion people.

"Science doesn't LIE. Modi does," Congress's second-in-command, Rahul Gandhi, said on Twitter, citing the WHO report. "Respect families who have lost loved ones."

He asked the government to compensate the families of each person dying of COVID with 4 Lakh rupees. The government currently gives 50,000 rupees once deaths are confirmed to be from COVID.

A government spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The government rejected the WHO estimates as the "validity and robustness of the models used and methodology of data collection are questionable".

The WHO said it had not yet fully examined new data provided this week by India, which issued its own mortality figures for all causes of death in 2020 on Tuesday. The U.N. body said it may add a disclaimer to its report highlighting ongoing conversations with Ind-ia. 

Some Indian states, nevertheless, have agreed to compensate more families than their official tally suggests.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat, for example, has recorded around 11,000 COVID fatalities since the start of the pandemic but has approved at least 87,000 compensation claims.

-News Feeds

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Local Glob: WHO reptort: 4.7 million people died in India due to Covid, Opposition seeks higher compensation
WHO reptort: 4.7 million people died in India due to Covid, Opposition seeks higher compensation
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