Referring to July 22 announcement by the State government that a district-level committee would be formed to avoid errors in reporting COVID-19 deaths, Stalin sought to know why should the CM, who had already announced 39 committees to correct errors in death reports, constitute another committee now. Referring to reports suggesting that deaths were being concealed in Madurai as it was allegedly done in Chennai, Stalin said that a media report claimed that in the first 10 days of July, 97 bodies were cremated in the electric crematoriums in Madurai. Remarking that a separate probe would be necessary to study the actual death count in Madurai owing to discrepancies between official figures and the entries made in crematorium registers, Stalin said the underreporting deaths by the government was exposed and another 290 deaths ought to be added to the State’s existing tally. People were left wondering that if 63 per cent of deaths were hidden in the State capital itself, as to how many deaths may have been covered up in other districts, the LoP added.
“As many as 444 deaths were added after a six-week review, which put the death rate of Chennai till July 10 at 2.67 per cent, against the 1 per cent claimed by the government thus far,” Stalin pointed out. Assuming that 63 per cent deaths were unreported (as per the committee report), the actual COVID-19 death rate of State and Chennai would be 3.66 per cent and 4.47 per cent, respectively, he added.