It’s an open secret that almost every state in India is underreporting Covid-19 cases and hiding virus related deaths. As per the Union Health Ministry figures India has recorded 2.7 crore cases and just over 3 Lakh deaths.
But the US based top media outlet New York Times claimed that India may really have 40 lakh Covid-19 deaths. “Poor record-keeping”, “lack of widespread testing” and “India grossly understating the true state of the pandemic” are the prime reasons cited by New York Times in its exclusive feature.
Before publishing this article, the New York Times had done extensive research and spoke to experts to analyse the number of cases and deaths. In their analysis, NYT estimates that the cases are 15 times higher than the official figures while the number of deaths is two times higher than that of the data available with the Health Ministry.
The NYT report adds that the infection and fatality rate in the first wave was lower but the second wave made things worse and in the coming days the estimates of infection and fatality may go up. In the worst case scenario the number of cases may climb by 26 percent and about 70 crore Indians may get infected with the virus while the fatality rate is likely to be 14 times higher and 42 lakh people may breathe their last.
The New York Times report can’t be ruled off. Few states like Telangana has apparently underreported Covid-19 cases and the state’s High Court has to constantly summon the state government on measures to contain the virus.