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Tamil Nadu under DMK: Government accused of Massive under-reporting of COVID-19 deaths

WebdeskMay 24, 2021, 01:40 PM IST

Tamil Nadu under DMK: Government accused of Massive under-reporting of COVID-19 deaths

The new Tamil Nadu government, lead by DMK which, when in opposition criticized and passed comments on the management of Covid 1- on daily basis, has now found it in a tricky situation. Its inefficient, callous, lackadaisical in the fight against the second wave of the pandemic, topped the national list by reporting more than 36,200 new infections. The tragedy is the death of 58 patients in two days in a single hospital due to irregular oxygen supply was under-reported in the DMK controlled media which debated for days on the death of children in UP due to Oxygen issue. In Dharmapuri, the death date was fudged to show fewer causalities. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, who can’t answer the media, has been busy visiting facilities for Corona patients unlike the former Health Minister Dr Vijaya baskar who visited and interacted with patients in hospitals. TN now have the distinction of allowing relatives of people who succumbed to Covid 19 or natural deaths to reserve slots to bury and cremate online. In Coimbatore, it is alleged, dead bodies were stacked in temporary sheds. The state government’s sudden relaxation of lockdown norms on 23rd May has resulted in people in thousands on roads to buy essentials, vegetables, textile to store up for the tight and relaxation free full lockdown which commences from 24th morning till next week. Traders cash in on the panic buying of people by increasing the prices many fold to get rich profits. Grocery, Vegetable and textile shops, the mad rush for buying. The decision of the allowing shops to remain open for a day was knee jerk one without considering the consequences, says leaders in the opposition camp. The DMK had initially discouraged the Vaccine shots, has now asking people to get vaccinated to save their lives. It is considering importing vaccine and Covid drugs from China. It does not know that Chinese shots are internationally accepted. The CM has been writing letters to the Centre to allot more oxygen, medicine and vaccine. There are instances of oxygen sufficient and unavailability of beds. But in reality, it seems, there have been mishandling of these facilities. In one such shocking incident, 58 people are said to be dead because of improper oxygen supply ad unavailability of beds in Karur government medical college hospital. The DMK controlled TV channels and Media (now the journalists are declared frontline warriors by Stalin government) are busy in singing paeans and writing, reporting encomiums on Stalin and his actions to show their gratitude. There are utter chaos in the state. Nearly 50 percent of the ministers are veterans who were in the Karunanidhi’s cabinet. The new first time ministers do not know how the handle press. Invariably the ministers brief the details about the portfolios held by others. They do not talk about their ministry. The vernacular and DMK controlled media showers praise on the Stalin government for inviting tender from international bidders ( including the dubious Chinese Sinopharm vaccine) to procure vaccines and for inaugurating new crematoriums as bodies are piling up, instead of creating ramping up oxygen supply and beds. The ground reality is neither CM Stalin nor his ministers show any capability of handling the situation adeptly. Health Minister, who is very close the CM, said “injecting Remdesivir is equivalent to injecting water”, while thousands are lined up in hospitals to buy the drug for their ailing family members. The government claimed that it will call for tenders to buy Remedesivir out of the CM’s fund. People in the state now feel it is the “new Dawn of DMK government” that it had promised before polls. Be that as it may, the Karur assembly constituency gained notoriety as the new Electricity minister, an AIADMK minister facing corruption charges, who before elections said: “Within five minutes of swearing-in of DMK government, people will start sand quarrying in Cauvery River. If any officials object, they would be dealt with our own way”. In Karur, due to confusions in oxygen supply and negligence in treatment given to Corona patients, 58 patients died in just two days. Even though the hospitals has 500 beds, all are full as the rate of infection has drastically went up in the last couple of days. It is learnt that the patients come in a critical condition with the dire need of oxygen. This has resulted in many dying without getting treatment as the system is overloaded. The hospital, according to doctors, has an oxygen tanker with a capacity of10, 000 litres. When the demands goes up or reaches 3,000 litres , the amount of oxygen stored in the tanker reduces resulting in oxygen pressure fluctuation. They said patients whose oxygen saturation level is very low face deficiency in supply and die. In this manner, nearly five to ten people die simultaneously. The family members or the person who is with the patient do not know the real problem for the death. A Tamil portal reported that on 18th and 19th of May alone 27 and 31 patients died, respectively in the hospital. The doctors warn if the situation continues, even more may die and so the hospital administration should rectify the technical issues in distributing oxygen as soon as possible. “No media in the state find it worthy of reporting but they will report only if it happens in BJP ruled states like UP, Gujarat, Goa” says Raghupathy, a social media activist. Even the courts that pulled up the Centre and UP government and went on overdrive basing them are now tight lipped. The staunch followers of DMK, who revel in condemning UP as a state of Cow-piss drinkers (Comium drinkers) a term used by Jihadis and left, because the voters have chosen BJP, were humbled by their leaders’ inefficiency. A Christian controlled TV conducted a debate whether drinking Comium is rational? Leader of opposition and former CM Edapadi K Palaniswami has urged the government to take legal action against those who had removed oxygen and ventilator support for a Covid 19 patient in Cuddalore government hospital. The victim’s family said the 49 year old man was admitted on 5th May with complaints of breathlessness. Tests showed that 80-90 percent of his lungs were affected and an RTPCR on 8th May tested negative. They alleged that he died because the health care workers removed his oxygen support mask. Now the government has ordered an inquiry and asked for a report. In Dharmapuri, the Covid deaths are being under reported. The government claims an average of three death while the crematoriums are busy in handling more bodies. It is literally flooded. The Courts have also asked the government not to under report the deaths and give the true picture to public. A local vernacular Journalist Srinivasan in an interview with a TV said in the last couple of days the affected people are 295 and 345 and it has been increasing day by day. An average nearly 100 people are being discharged after treatment. As far as the the death ratio, the TN government is hiding the actual figure. On 10th May, according to unconfirmed data, there were 57 deaths in Dharmapuri hospital mortuary. But official figures only state there were 2 deaths due to corona while real figure is more than 25 times. When contacted the government officials, they said they did not want create panic by giving the exact figure of death. Not only on that day, there were instances of cremating more than 25 bodies in a single day. The workers in the crematoria are burning 20 to 25 bodies even in adjacent open lands to cater to the growing demands. Some say the number could be 40 to 45. Even the DMK MP Dr Senthilkumar tweeted that the more number of deaths due to Covid is alarming contradicting his own government figures.” Dr Senthikumar S in his tweet on 12th May said “ Dharmapuri should be announced as ‘Red Alert’ district and a complete strict lock down should be enforced immediately. The death rate is alarming and going out of control. I am in regular consultation with the medical college and hospital. We have reached full capacity of 1000 beds which include 450 oxgen beds. Current required bed capacity for Dharampuri is 10,000 beds at make shift places. Doctors and frontline warriors are of shortage and existing staff are already stressed out. Immediate action required”. Srinivasan says during the past one year, the government reported only 90 deaths.but it is more. Patients complain that they could not see any doctors but only nurses and other frontline workers are doing their job”. India Ahead News says Deaths in Dharmapuri are no more than 3 per day on average. But crematoria are overflowing and people are cremating their loved ones in vacant plots. Is the district under reporting deaths?.


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