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Telangana has again reduced the Covid-19 cases by 66%

TNIE finds stark mismatch between figures reported by health officials in 13 districts and those published by govt in media bulletin

HYDERABAD: The actual number of Covid-19 cases in Telangana could be twice that of the numbers dished out by the State government in its daily media bulletin. The number of cases reported by district-level health officials is being drastically slashed by the government before announcing it to the media.

A reality check by TNIE compared the number of Covid-19 cases reported on April 17 in 13 districts vis-a-vis the figures reported for the same districts in the media bulletin. A quick analysis revealed that the State government had trimmed down the numbers by a shocking 66 per cent.

In these 13 districts, the total number of Covid-19 cases reported on April 17 were as high as 4,868. But when the number of cases in the same districts as reported in the media bulletin were added, the cumulative figure was just 1,627.

This shocking aspect of Telangana government’s attitude towards Covid-19 data is not just limited to downplaying the incidence. The government has even issued ‘gag orders’ to Health Department officials in all the districts, directing them not to give out district-level data of Covid-19 cases.

Earlier, district-level officials of the Medical and Health Department would issue daily data of fresh Covid-19 cases to the media. However, the practice has been stopped since the last couple of days. When Express contacted the district-level Health Department officials in a few districts, they claimed that orders were issued by respective District Collectors, directing them to submit the caseload data online, only to the State-level authorities.

This is not the first time that the Telangana government has found itself muddled in a controversy regarding inconsistencies in Covid-19 data. Last year too, it was accused of under-reporting Covid-19 cases and deaths. The Telangana High Court had then pulled the State up for mismatch in figures.

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