Siddaramaiah questions Karnataka government’s COVID-19 statistics on deaths, testing and recoveries

Published : May 17, 2021 14:39 IST

Siddaramaiah (right) during a visit to the district hospital in Chamarajanagar, Mysuru, on May 4. D.K. Shivakumar, KPCC president, is to his right. Photo: The Hindu Archives

Siddaramaiah, senior Indian National Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister, in a letter to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said the people of Karnataka were “losing trust in the State government’s statistics with regard to the number of tests, [COVID-19] deaths and recoveries” and claimed that the State government was “lying about the number of COVID-19 deaths”. Siddaramaiah compares the total number of deaths in the State at the end of 2019 and at the end of 2020. When compared with 2019, 93,812 more persons have died in 2020, leading Siddaramaiah to conclude that these deaths have taken place due to COVID-19.

His letter came after members of the State government said that the situation in Karnataka, particularly Bengaluru, was improving. Stating the simple fact that the number of new COVID-19 cases being diagnosed every day is directly linked to the number of tests conducted, Siddaramaiah pointed out that the number of tests conducted in Karnataka have “fallen by almost 30 per cent” from their peak in April. The Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly also pointed out that 2,64,441 tests were conducted on May 6 while only 1,16,238 tests were conducted on May 11, indicating that there has been a severe decline in the number of tests being conducted in Karnataka.

Siddaramaiah also questioned Yediyurappa on the latter’s statement that the spread of COVID-19 in the State was “declining”. Said Siddaramaiah in his letter: “In truth, rather than declining, COVID-19 is increasing in Karnataka. The positivity rate in Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, Ballari, Hassan, Mysuru, Belagavi, Chikkamaggaluru, Kodagu, Shivamogga districts is more than 50 per cent. In the remaining districts, the positivity rate is around 35 per cent. It is less than 20 per cent in only one or two districts. In such a situation, if Yediyurappa says that cases are declining, it is a lie.”

Siddaramaiah also wondered if the State government had any vaccination policy and demanded that the number of tests be increased immediately.