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If you claim India’s Covid death toll is 2x govt figure, it’s understandable. But not 10x

Media reports from cremation sites claiming the central and state govts are hiding Covid deaths might be effective in setting a narrative, but they don't pass muster.

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India is in the middle of its second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Our social media feeds have morphed into SOS helplines with citizens running from pillar to post to arrange medicines and oxygen cylinders. Amid this, the pack of foreign correspondents and their desi counterparts, who in the first wave couldn’t explain India’s low death rates, have made a triumphant comeback, with many of them claiming that India is grossly underreporting its Covid-19 death numbers now.

As per John Burn-Murdoch of the Financial Times, who put together data for seven districts through news reports, the “numbers of Covid victims who have been cremated are 10x larger than official Covid death counts in same areas.”

Now, if your claim is that the Covid death toll in India is twice the government figure, it’s still understandable. But to claim it is 10 times the number fails to pass the smell test.

To begin with, the under-reported death figures aren’t part of some grand global conspiracy. This has been happening and will continue to happen across the globe. For example, New York was accused of under-reporting its nursing home deaths by a few thousand that were added to the tally in early February 2021. This pushed their total nursing home resident deaths up from 8,500 to nearly 15,000.

So, if one digs deeper for such stories in India, they will find that state governments are underreporting deaths. But that’s not the point. This is not a brief for any government, nor is it an apologia to reduce the death count. The only thing I am bothered about is the truth.

So, should we be taking the ‘ten times the number of deaths’ claims seriously?

Also read: The young in these 2 Varanasi villages started to die. That’s when Covid became ‘real’

What critics miss

For starters, the criticism of the government’s nefarious schemes has to be consistent. Critics would have us believe that the same governments (state and central), which can’t provide basic facilities during the second wave, are somehow Machiavellian enough to under-count death rates by a factor of 10.

If the death count was actually 10 times, it’d suggest that both state and central governments somehow managed to come together on the same page and succeeded in keeping the official numbers down. And they managed to do so under immense scrutiny from NGOs, media, activists, and the foreign press.

Just to give some perspective, the official death toll as of 28 April is 2,04,812. If the actual figure was 10 times, it’d mean that more than 20 lakh (or 2 million) people in India have succumbed to Covid-19.

We had the same narrative last year during the first wave. Between April and July 2020, there were several reports about Muslim burial grounds being overburdened and running out of space. So it is possible that there were under-reported deaths during the first wave too. But the key question is, by how much?

Such stories had cropped up from Mumbai as well. But after a while, it was clear that the chaos was partly because of the spike (which is expected), but primarily because burial grounds were overburdened with Covid-19 protocols.

Another way is to look at the death rates of 2018-2020, while ascertaining three things.

  1. What is the spike in terms of absolute number of deaths?
  2. In which period did this spike happen?
  3. Can these numbers be attributed to Covid completely?

If someone says ‘Yes’ to the third question, what they are saying is that every additional death in India has happened only because of Covid, which is outrageous, because it’s impossible that Indians have become immune to every other disease.

Also read: More people died of Covid in Delhi in last 4 days than in Mumbai since March

Present hard numbers

Let’s look at the data. In Mumbai, 20,719 more deaths (around 23 per cent) were reported in the 2020 calendar year compared to 2019. It was 1,11,942 in 2020 and 91,223 in 2019. May 2020 had the highest number of deaths registered (14,328) compared to 7,335 deaths in May 2019.

Now, when we calculate the excess mortality data we must keep in mind the standard year-on-year rise of deaths by 2 to 2.5 per cent.

One must also remember that these are the total number of deaths in the whole year. These numbers do not indicate or consider deaths by other causes. For example, during the first wave, the entire health infrastructure had collapsed and patients suffering from various chronic illnesses like cancer, kidney failure, hypertension, and diabetes were denied basic healthcare access. Also, the lockdown had temporarily reduced the rate of deaths by road accidents for a while, but it had also resulted in an increase in deaths by suicide. To get the real picture, one might have to look at the age-wise distribution (Covid-19 does tend to harm those aged 60 and above more).

The official Covid-19 fatality figure of Mumbai was 11,116 for 2020. So when we take points number 1 and 2 into consideration and try to break down the excess number of deaths, it would be fewer or not more than two times the official count.

Another point we need to remember in the case of Mumbai is that the first wave had hit the slums disproportionately. This can be seen by looking at the sero survey conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which showed that 57 per cent of the people in slums had antibodies to Covid-19 as against 16 per cent in non-slum pockets. How do we know whether the sero survey was right? Well, during the second wave, the spread of the infection is completely lopsided in comparison to the first wave — 90 per cent cases are concentrated in high-rise buildings while slums account for just 10 per cent. Slum-dwellers do not have the same level of access to quality healthcare in comparison to non-slum dwellers. This is another factor that should be considered when we try to understand the overall mortality narrative.

Let us consider another state for our analysis. Kerala released its all-cause mortality data, according to which, the state recorded over 16,000 fewer deaths in 2020 compared to the average of the previous five years. The point to be noted here is that Kerala had and still has the second highest number of infections in India.

Also read: Covid norms go for a toss at huge rallies of TRS, BJP, Congress in Telangana for civic polls

What it tells us

If one was to consider all these factors, the only rational conclusion that can be derived is that the number of Covid-related deaths in India could be two times what the governments (state and central) claim. It cannot be beyond that. And if someone wants to make the ‘10 times’ claim for the whole nation, then they should provide evidence for it.

Taking some news reports and amplifying them to suggest the entire country is crumbling is not data crunching, it’s simply pandering to the ‘bhay ka mahaul’ (atmosphere of fear) narrative without giving facts to substantiate it. In a huge country like India, it’s always possible to find any story to fit one’s narrative but that doesn’t make it the universal truth.

The only way to figure out the real numbers would be by looking at the annual death data and then trying to make sense out of that after a year.

As Carl Sagan once said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Nothing substantiates the 10 times claim, and stories of crematoriums might be effective in setting a narrative, but they certainly don’t pass muster. 

In fact, one would’ve to use a metaphorical blade of two philosophical razors to truly slice through the ridiculous claims: Hitchen’s and Hanlon’s. While Hitchen’s states that what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence, Hanlon’s states: “Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.”

A close observation would show that we can reject the claims simply because they are being made either from malice or stupidity, neither of which is a great skill for data observation.

The author is an entrepreneur from Mumbai and hosts the Cārvāka podcast. Views are personal. 

(Edited by Prashant Dixit)

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  1. The author seems to be unaware using data from mumbai to deduce indian figures. Everyone can vouch that mumbai covid reporting is far better than any other city/state. Infact data from banglore till suggest that deaths figures in banglore is 5x of reported numbers. Further comparing first wave to second wave is another mistake as during first most of deaths happened in hospital as people had access to hospital while in second wave many deaths are happening at home as people are not getting bed. Third in first wave mostly cities were affected due to covid while second wave has engulfed the entire india.

  2. The entire article is based on the premise that all deaths are accounted for, and that some deaths that are due to covid is not being attributed to covid. What about the deaths that are not being counted?

    What do you have to say to the 65 year old man whose wife passed away of covid because she couldn’t find a hospital in time? Nobody has counted her death.

    Now for some figures.

    The official death rate in India in 2019 was 7.23 per 1000 people. The population of India that year was roughly 136 crores. So that would give us a total of 7.23/1000* 136 crores/365 = 26,939 deaths per day due to non covid reasons in 2019.

    The government claims that the national death toll due to covid is currently 2000-3000 per day. As per your claims, it is not more than 4000-6000 per day.

    If so, pray tell us why people are unable to find a space to bury or cremate their dead all across the country?

    Please stop giving into what the government asks of you and have empathy for us.

  3. This article is complete hogwash. I sometimes fail to understand, even after what’s happening in India, people are writing such stupid articles. Modi government has completely failed the country and they have messed up this COVID situation. They should be focusing on how to get the situation in control but they are more interested in their image, ironically this approach is doing exactly the opposite. From being a Modi supporter to a Modi hater, just in couple of days and not because of what media is reporting but because what I saw with my own eyes. Good luck to people who still try to defend this pathetic government.

  4. The notion that since they are inefficient they cannot lie is nonsense. Modi has decades of expertise in propaganda and hiding data, zero experience in actual public service and health policy.

  5. And the gaslighting begins. This pathetic right wing intellectual wannabe wants us to believe that the situation is not that bad. In a few months, we will be told actually we did not even lose 2000 people, they all died due to natural causes. Try and hide the incompetence and hubris of the supreme leader at any cost.

    In the last few days, 5 people I know have died. None of them with any comorbidities

    We are to believe that in a country as large as India, an additional 5000 deaths is going to result in a complete collapse of the infrastructure including that of crematoriums, hospitals, oxygen supply, vaccination supply

    His pathetic data analysis is a poor attempt at obfuscation and gaslighting. This will not be the end. This poor excuse of an human being and his ilk will attempt many such tactics over the next few months.

  6. i really wish th articles posted are more scientific ,technical and biomedical as in scopus or ,now please dont use your corrupt dares to interfere in their working.why dont you post an article on “not all deserving people are converted into students that can access locked scopus,ieee,other journals articles for free,imagine billion minds thinking instead of a few hundred.atleast learn this tough lesson now.

  7. Lets do Math
    Total districts in India => 718 (we will count all town, village and panchayat population under district only)
    out of 718 Big Citis = 200
    and Small Citis = 518
    Avg per day death due to covid
    In Big City = 30 (taking count on lower side, it include the village town and panchayat count too)
    Small City = 15 (taking count on lower side, it include the village town and panchayat count too)

    total per day death = 30 * 200 + 15 * 518 = 13770
    Result = 4 times of the govt count.
    So the count is not 10X but still 4X is too high if its missing form govt data.

  8. I think Mr Mehta has never had to live as an adult in an Indian village in his life for any extended time. Those of us who have, know the truth. The combination of Shivratri/Holiday/ the Muslim festival that is the same night as Holika – “Badi Rathna” etc combines with taluka and panchayat elections over Feb into early March – taking the average gestation period of the disease as one week, all those crowds will now have, according to accepted (except for BJP statistical models) an exponential curve of 4 cases to 1 person. (See Univ of Michigan, Washington, Italian Health ministry statistical models from their first raging waves. )
    Or ok, don’t bother to look at statistical probability math. Just speak to people who live in villages and small towns. Going by what I personally am told from my maternal village, every second senior, unvaccinated still, has died,UNTESTED, and the reason given for those without the obvious co-Morbi, is “cardiac arrest”. Just that. Some were part of our household.
    My point? No one in tier 3 and smaller India is counting Covid death properly. Many are not counting it in the metro outskirts either.

    Your only Defence was one point on calculation per normal deaths and the other was Hitchen’s & Hanlen’s. Well I put it to you – anyone arguing the death count of x10 is too low is worthy of unproved dismissal, and your malice is at par with your stupidity.

    Stand down. ThisIS time for raging criticism and COVID care. Keep your lofty smell tests to yourself while you still CAN smell.

    • Excellent reply to the article! Should be published as a separate reply article

  9. Hahaha. The author thinks such grossly under reported numbers won’t escape a scrutiny by activists and press.
    Mr. Kushal, I don’t know whether you have thicker than usual skull but may be you are not understanding that press has been instructed not to cover the deaths and despair and only cover election news. Just switch on the TV, open your eyes and you shall see. Secondly, apart from various press agencies who are trying to uncover real numbers and their Insta and Twitter handles being disabled, the government has also made sure even citizens are being arrested who dare to report a shortage of oxygen or vaccines on social media. Journalists and their own families are dying and at risk. There are waiting lists for funeral pyres and wood stock is empty to even burn these bodies. Do not understand what are you trying to achieve, may be inner solace by telling yourself what suits you. Whatever floats your boat.

  10. The journalists should count death nos in hospitals or crematoriums daily in big cities to verify the government claims. But no body is doing so. So the pictures and rumors are being used to put up figures of death. The number could be very high or not very high. High due to Covid or other diseases or could be mixed reason. Should be verified by journalists. The governments will underplay these figures just to keep their staff and public calm. The bottom line is Covid fury is very harsh in its second wave. The virus felt insulted in the first wave in India and become reenergized second time and attacked unguarded Indians slyly.

  11. In a Gujarati local newspaper, there were 8 pages of obituaries whereas normally there is 1 page. The ones notifying deaths through newspapers are the upper classes. There are many more who do not report through newspapers.

    The BJP has been fudging economic growth data and this is now known by international institutions. It will be the same now with Covid deaths. Lying is positivism for them. As they are incapable of anticipating a problem and solving it, this is the only way.

    Their capability does not go beyond shipping louts from UP to create a riot in Delhi against Muslims, and persuading Hindus the Muslims are anti-national and started it. In that endeavour, the BJP is highly organised and energetic. But the same mindset will not be capable of organising healthcare and education, which require a universalist approach. The result is before us.

    Maybe more Hindus now can see the reality of the BJP now.

  12. And so starts the gaslighting of the Indian Public. I am afraid this pathetic attempt is not going to work, but does not mean we will not have anymore cockroaches crawling out to try and convince the Indian public that it is not as bad as it seems.

    The author is disputing the numbers provided by the foreign journalists, which are atleast based on some ground level reporting, because it does not pass his smell test, but does not himself really give any facts or ground level numbers.

    Also the reason why people believe the 10x numbers is because I bet you at this point that every I down knows someone who has died of Covid. That does not happen in a country as vast as India if it was just 5000 people dead.

    Not to mention you have a pathetic, incompetent government that is actively trying to misreport the number and the situation. We even had the health minister telling us yesterday that India is doing Greg actually compared to the world and there is no oxygen crisis. And there is A Dhongi in UP who has threatened people against complaining about the oxygen crisis or deaths.

    So please crawl back into the hole you have come out of , let us atleast mourn the people we have lost, before you try and come to us with your agenda and pathetic data analysis.

  13. My grandma, uncle auntx2, and a friend died of Covid, total 5 and you know what none of this is covid death in paper

  14. The allegations aren’t that death has been underreported by 10x since the covid crisis began. It’s that over the last month, since this wave began, these numbers have been massively underreported, and based on primary evidence from burial sites, could be as much as 10x

    The author has used data from a larger time period to prove their point, but I don’t think that works.

  15. We are getting updates from friends and families.

    500-600 deaths in small towns where the reports are saying 50 per day….so yes there is huge under reporting..also if 2 million have can go unnoticed as media can’t cover all cremation sites across the nation…I have seen 100 cars outside a single cremation ground in Delhi at 10am…and this is when mostly 1 car per casualty is expected to go to the last rites…so yes there is huge under reporting..u can blame it on the huge rush and people unable to keep record and also everyone involved has an interest to keep count low to protect their reputation and image ….whether it’s the government or the hospital.

  16. Kanpur alone reported 400+ dead bodies being cremated with COVID protocols on the same day UP only reported around 230 deaths for the entire state. The same case can be made for Raipur, Bhopal, Ahmedabad etc. You think people are pulling the ×10 numbers out of their ass? Lol. What a nonsensical article, using last year’s data to disprove the current scenario.

  17. I agree with all above, but…but but…I live in East Delhi, when I go to my home roof, all I smell is wood burning some wehere nearby.. I just hope Kushal is right at 2x..

  18. I can go with 2x, I do believe 10x is too much.

    There is much distrust of govt. figures because leading doctors say they have been ordered to under-report. A person who tweeted for oxygen for his father in UP has been slapped with a FIR – because Yogi has declared he is spreading negativism. When this happens from the govt. side, it looks like suppression of the figures. Then the reverse will also happen.

    However, even if it was accurately reported, that is 1x, the death toll and its rate exceeds what the health care system and crematoria can cope with. That is the point. The only question is why was this allowed to happen ?

    Western countries like the UK even if they made a false start going for herd immunity realised the toll would be unacceptable, and did a course correction. Boris Johnson set the first target is their NHS should not be overwhelmed, and second was, they put lockdowns and made vaccines. None of these countries allowed their health service and burial grounds to collapse.

    China was hit hard; but they are capable of building a hospital in 13 days.

    Modi is capable of building a Patel statue for 3000 crores, money that could have built 300 hospitals. He is spending crores on the Vista project when he is undermining democracy. He bought two private jets. All this is the outcome and baggage of Hindutva,

    One state Kerala does not have oxygen shortage and over flowing crematoria despite high cases because they built oxygen units after the first wave. Even in India, if you have governments which feel responsible for the welfare of the citizens, they can avoid such crises.

    Whether the death toll is 2x and not 10x is irrelevant, what Indians need to realise is Hindutva has failed and is responsible for the mess India finds itself. It was built on lies and violence. All those who enthusiastically supported and voted for fascism and Hindu supremacy are responsible. The image India is streaming abroad is due to Hindutva.

    • The author hosts a podcast called charvaka. It talks about Hindutva and how it is being misrepresented in the world. He thinks that being Hindu is the same as supporting whatever BJP does or says. In the name of “truth” he is doing the same thing Trump supporters do, using old useless data and show what is being shown in the media is “Alternate facts” and they have the actual facts.

      • Thank you for digging out the links. I was myself wondering whether he had any connection to the govt/BJP

  19. We dont know how many times But we miss the picture if we assert the deaths aren’t more than two times. Two times the usual numbers wont bring the crematorium to its breaking points .Neither are they saying it sis from 20- 40 to usual 80 or 100.The bodies are arriving non stop and number in 300 in 24 hours.

  20. Another spin doctor from BJP.

    Same old recipe of twisting the facts and selectively presenting the data to build a positive narrative.

    State and central government don’t have to colude to under report deaths. It is happening naturally because our govt under great leadership of Modiji is buzi with election in UP and Bengal and is not bothered to test and treat so many people.

    Plus this lack of data helps in creating a positive narrative. So why invest resources and properly track it, usual tricks of any inefficient and arrogant govt.

    And if foreign media is sensationalising by over reporting facts, people like you are doing no good by creating a false narrative and underreporting reality.

    • Truly. It’s impossible to even read a Bhakta report. Tphe writer perhat is leaving in a jungle and hasn’t seen a crematorium of late. See his language. Completely unrepentant, just true
      To a BJP stooge.

    • Oh yes sir definitely agree. Pleas hire me sir pleas in your enterprise sir I am proud Indian proud to be atmanirbhaya sir I only believe in Devi model for education sir I will fit in well with you sir

  21. Under-reporting of COVID fatalities isn’t some Govt conspiracy. Rather, most families would prefer not to report COVID-related deaths because they may be afraid that their going into quarantine would make it difficult to conduct the last rites, or stop condolence visits by grieving friends and relatives. Sad.

  22. Who wants the truth? Burning pyre images from india are on sale on internet. Burning Pyre porn! To corner someone politically they have become so blind that are not realising the kind of impact and panic, their exaggerated negative reporting is creating on other people. Panic will create shortages unncessarily. People who really need something might not be able to get them.
    Definitely mental health challenges arising out of this pandemic will also create problem.

    • Don’t worry, the BJP govt. has been doing positive reporting – for years. They have Arnob, Sudhir Chaudury … They have their famed IT cell as well as millions of fervent believers in positivity.

  23. Pfff! Such loose arguments. For instance, if we just consider that in the firstwave, the slums of Mumbai were dispropotionaly affected and were also home to lot of the immigrant population. Potientally, the people living in the slums could have left Mumbai and died elsewhere. So the assumption that the population remained the same cannot be held vaild. Lot of other loose arguments but not going to go into it. I’m not trying to say that there’s a 10X difference, my argument is that such an rebuttal requires indepth analysis. Dissapointed with the Print for publishing such a badly written article.

  24. lutyen media is focused on only negative news, making up numbers to show India and government in poor light

  25. Very poorly redacted, 100% of deaths at home that reach the crematorium in a private vehicle and not an ambulance are recorded as non covid deaths this is not some grand government consiparcy just the reality.

    So no it’s not 2x it’s definitely more than that!

  26. Read Shri Bhupendra Chaubey’s recent tweet about the waiting period of one to two days in crematoria in Delhi / NCR. How people are now leveraging contacts – what the Chinese call guanxi – to secure slots, as they would have done earlier to get the victims hospital admissions and oxygen / medicines. An IFS officer has perished after waiting for five hours in the parking lot of Medanta. Time to switch off the centrifuges, please, they have spun enough.

  27. Malice or stupidity … One wonders which adjective the columnist would consider appropriate for Dr Surjit Bhalla’s columns. Including the recent one which trashed suggestions that electioneering in Bengal had contributed to a spike in Covid cases. 2. Indians are dying in record numbers. A sagacious health minister who feels their pain would not continue making vacuous claims that India’s death rate is the lowest in the world. Why should the number of deaths be hidden, by a factor of either two or ten. There is an immense cost, largely unrecognised so far, when people begin to lose faith in what their government is telling them.

  28. Don’t understand why New York’s Example is given to justify under-reporting. Its almost like if West has a fallacy similar to us it becomes acceptable immediately

    • no,, but then you always compare with best to show that we are bad….. and not upto mark…. so it goes the other way also… accept it.

  29. I suggest the author learn the meaning of what aboutism. Your argument that if India is underreporting deaths/cases, New York did the same is flawed and a smack on the face of logic. I suggest you read then talk.

  30. Does it really matter if its 2x or 10x, the real issue is that the government and administration are fudging numbers to save face.

    • It matters. We need so many resources. If we underplay it, we will not get required foreign aid, attention and resources as quickly.

  31. Local media across gujarat has collected and debunked official figures.
    Various individual city/ district Hospitals and clinics have much higher death count than the one reported on national dashboard.
    2x is an understatement.

  32. The editor wrote a piece about “it is not that much” on the 18th of April. The staff and others got the editorial message. Yeah Right, it is not that much. India is maligned too much stories will get in print.

  33. comparing Kerala with the least developed states is like comparing Food & Shit….everyone knows that more than 70% of Covid positive indians dont get a hospital room.. so they are in Home and dies…never gets covered in death list by govt officials . in addition – in hinderland and poor people of urban area dont test even if they have symptoms of Covid and dies…no registeration of death b covid as there is no test contested…

  34. Dear Mr Mehra
    The FT journalists and other sources claim the 10x death numbers for THIS wave, and not the previous ones, where 2x or 3x was the probable number.
    Look at the papers. In Bhopal, there were 1000 cremations in 13 days. The official figures were 41.
    In Kanpur, there were 400 extra cremations (500 total), on usual days, the number is 100) on a day when the entire UP numbers was 150.
    In Bangalore, twice as many cremations as compared to the official numbers.
    In Surat, Ahmedabad, Varanasi, similar stories.
    Every state government is fudging data, some more, some less.
    Indeed, we will get the real numbers from all cause mortality figures, but those figures will come after a long time.
    Till then, it is res ipsa loquitar. Figures coming out of different cities are proof enough.

  35. What this post says is actually legit that you can’t just randomly say that the actual death toll due to covid is by far increased through a factor of 10. But then what about increased number of deaths that are being witnessed throughout the country on a day to day basis. Surely not all of them are due to covid. There are many other health issues as well. Still many patients who are suffering from other chronic diseases are suffering due to the aftermath of covid only. As those in urgent need are unable to get the desired medical attention and I think that such cases of death should also be attributed to covid only. Also instead of focusing and comparing of death rates annually it should be done on a day to day basis. Because this will actually tell us how much the government is underreporting the cases.

  36. Shitty and baseless article with a lot of assumption just to make a point.

    This is utter nonsense and the worst kind of journalism. Please stop licking BJP’s boots guys.

  37. Not to create fear but some reality here…
    I am from a small city, jamnagar, gujarat. Everyday more than 100 (ranges between 92 to 138) people die only in government covid hospital here since atleast last 10 days and number of people dying in private hospitals or at home are not available. But official figures of death are usually between 0 to 9 deaths everyday.

  38. The entire argument is hinged on the fact that all deaths jn india are registered…I agree perhaps 10x is grossly exaggerated but evidently the numbers are being fudged….when people see that the numbers are being baked, then they speculate and unfortunately there isn’t much rationale behind speculation..

  39. I understand the yearning of the Print to be a “neutral” platform, but I wish they could get some genuine conservatives to talk and discuss issues. Here we have someone who would want us to believe that to undercount deaths is a far more “Machiavellian” task than managing the health care system under an unprecedented assault of a pandemic.

    His reasoning makes no attempt to hide where he is coming from. I could go on and poke holes in this “rational analysis” but that’s not going to change anyones mind. Everybody today is a statistician and a “rational” thinker, while real statisticians are to be considered quacks hell bent upon destroying/defaming the great awesome Hindu leader/nation. Once the dust settles, statistics will come out, and people actually trained to decipher numbers will tell us the truth. Till then, we must endure twitteratis and youtubers like the author, and their homegrown expertise and scholarship.

    P.S: A quick look at the author’s twitter page reveals that he is aspiring to become a “desi counterpart” of bigots like Christopher Hitchens. He didn’t get too far with his bigotry, neither would the author.

  40. India’S mortality rate is 7.2 (irrespective of Covid) . It means 7.2 person will die in a year per 1000 persons.
    If you calculate it for 1.3 Billion, it comes out to be 9.36 Million in a year (1.3 billion/1000×7.2)
    It means on an average approx. 25643 persons will die every day. We never heard India having problems to cremate 25000 people per day before. With Covid official death count is roughly 2500-3000 per day which is hardly 10% of average and we are seeing queue in crematoriums.

    Please don’t put salt to the wounds of relatives of fallen ones.

    Does it pass your smell test?

  41. Media’s vulture behaviour came tumbling out of closet in this pandemic. A journalist sitting near funeral pyre just goes on to show how low media can go. Indian media is just making up false numbers to attract global eyeballs and get paid in return. Absolutely abhorring behaviour.

    • Journalists countingat blazing hot crematoria and cemeteries are putting their lives on the line and risking the scorn of bloated passive Bhakts like you, to report the TRUTH. Which is exactly what they are meant to do.
      Shame on your arrogance and blind hate for facts and reportage. People like you probably only watch Aaj Tak and Republic. Oh, wait, those two also reported overflowing crematoriums. No, you must only like Duncey Doordarshan.

  42. The news reporters should publish the names of all the deceased if they claim the numbers are actually 10x.

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