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Vaghani says number of deaths due to Covid and during Covid-19 period can be different

The Supreme Court had slammed the Gujarat government last week for appointing a committee to scrutinise Covid-19 deaths , which the government had to withdraw earlier this week through an affidavit submitted before the apex court.

By: Express News Service | Gandhinagar |
November 25, 2021 6:17:32 am
Interacting with media persons on the issue, Vaghani said that when the matter is pending before Supreme Court, it was not proper to make comments and that the state government would abide by the order of the apex court on paying ex-gratia. (File)

Gujarat Education Minister Jitu Vaghani said Wednesday that there was a big difference between death during Covid-19 period and death due to Covid-19. Vaghani, who is also spokesperson for the Bhupendra Patel government, made the remarks during the weekly post-Cabinet briefing while responding to allegations of Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi that the Gujarat government was playing down Covid-19 deaths.

Rahul had alleged that the actual number of people dying of Covid-19 in Gujarat was three lakh which was in contrast to the claim of Gujarat government that said 10,000 had died of the infection.
Asked what was the total number of people who died of Covid-19 and during Covid-19, Vaghani said, “An affidavit has been filed before SC. As per the affidavit before the SC, whatever the figure is – whether it is 3 lakh, 4 lakh, 2 lakh, 2.5 lakh – and criteria decided (by the court), the state government will give (ex-gratia).”

The Supreme Court had slammed the Gujarat government last week for appointing a committee to scrutinise Covid-19 deaths , which the government had to withdraw earlier this week through an affidavit submitted before the apex court.

Interacting with media persons on the issue, Vaghani said that when the matter is pending before Supreme Court, it was not proper to make comments and that the state government would abide by the order of the apex court on paying ex-gratia.

He said, “There is a big difference between death during Covid period and death due to the disease. The Covid (death) certificates have been given as per the guidelines of Health department and WHO.”

In reply to a question if the state government has got any survey done to know the number of deaths due to the infection and during the pandemic time, Vaghani said, “The number of deaths due to Corona (disease) is 10,088. The figure of death due to Covid and during the Covid time due to various diseases could be different. The state government has submitted an affidavit before the SC and it will follow whatever orders the apex court issues.”

Before this, Vaghani had criticised Rahul saying, “I condemn the statement about Gujarat made by the undeclared president of Congress party… He has said that around 3 lakh people have died of Coronavirus. (By making such a statement) Congress has conspired to terrify, mislead and incite the feelings of people of Gujarat.”

Vaghani said that the death figure of Gujarat is lower than some of the Congress-ruled states. He said that in Maharastra the death figure is 14,028, 16,553 in Punjab, and 13,522 in Chhattisgarh. He challenged Rahul Gandhi to declare that the death figures in Congress-ruled states are false too.

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