The total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the city reported by the Delhi government is less than the number of deaths reported by just two city hospitals.
While the government’s statement says 68 virus-related deaths have occurred in the Capital till Friday, the number of such deaths in just two city hospitals that The Hindu accessed was 107.
The government “strongly denied this allegation”. “This is completely false and politically motivated. There is an audit committee of doctors that investigates every death incident reported by COVID hospitals and ensures that every death is reported. There is no interference of any kind in the work of this committee,” it said.
“Each and every death reported by hospitals has to be certified by a death [audit] committee and only then it is reflected in the health bulletin [official statement],” a government spokesperson said.
According to the Delhi government, 26 COVID-19-related deaths have taken place at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital till Friday, but the hospital medical superintendent Minakshi Bhardwaj said 52 such deaths had occurred.
“We have raised the issue multiple times. Even the total number of positive cases reported by them of our hospital is less. Every day, we are sending fresh data and I have no idea why are they are reporting less [number of] cases,” she said.
Similarly, five deaths occurred in Lok Nayak Hospital till Friday, according to the government administration, However, the hospital reported 55 COVID-19 positive deaths.
Director of Lady Hardinge Medical College, N.N. Mathur, said that there were three COVID-19 deaths in the hospital, but the Delhi government data shows “zero” virus-related deaths at the hospital.
When reached out, AIIMS, Max Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGSSH) and Safdarjung Hospital did not provide data of COVID-19 deaths. “We can only share [the data] with the government,” a Max Hospital official said.
“We are not authorised to share data on the number of deaths,” a RGSSH spokesperson said. The “death audit committee” was formed by the Delhi government only on April 20.
The spokesperson did not clarify how the data on the number of deaths were released by the government before April 20.