Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: With COVID-19 cases & fatalities scaling new peaks in Odisha, questions are being raised over the State government's management of the pandemic and mismatch in death numbers.

While it is alleged that the COVID-19 death toll is much higher than the data provided by the State government, the supervisor of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Gopal Chandra Das has also said that over 30 bodies are being cremated at the Satya Nagar crematorium on a daily basis.

"Around 30-40 dead bodies are getting cremated here daily," said Das. The BMC supervisor's claim has raised serious questions relating to the actual number of deaths and the data provided by the State Health and Family Welfare Department.

As per govt data, the highest daily death toll reported so far is 16 on September 24. So how 30-40 COVID19 bodies are being cremated every day?

Moreover, Das claimed that over 1,100 bodies have so far been cremated in the crematorium. However, as per the State Health department, 752 coronavirus patients have succumbed to the disease so far along with 53 deaths due to diseases other than COVID-19.

Responding to the claims, BMC commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary said, "I can't say the exact figure without checking the crematorium data. Apart from the normal cremation of bodies at the crematorium, bodies of some deceased from other districts are also getting cremated here because of COVID-19 restrictions. That's why the numbers seem higher."

Meanwhile, opposition parties have alleged that the Odisha government is hiding the facts from people and even warned of massive protests.

Congress leader Manas Choudhury said, "Whenever you visit the crematorium, you will find cremations underway. The government is not proving the facts and even suppressing the voices questioning mismatch."

"Odisha government has completely failed in COVID-19 management and to hide its failure, it is providing false data on a regular basis," alleged BJP leader, Lekhashree Samantsinghar.

Responding to the allegations, ruling-BJD leader, Prashant Jagdev said that the government is not hiding COVID data and such allegations during these times only reflects foolishness and lack experience on the part of some people.