‘Pointless to argue over Covid death figures, focus on helping those suffering’

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar (PTI) (PTI)


Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has said it was pointless to argue over COVID-19 fatality figures as the dead won’t came back to life, and the focus should be on providing relief to those suffering now.

Khattar was replying to questions on the alleged under-reporting of deaths due to coronavirus — at many places the scenes at crematoriums and burial grounds do not reflect the official numbers.

“The kind of difficult situation we are going through, we don’t have to play with data. Our entire focus should be on how people will recover and how we can provide them relief,” he told reporters in Rohtak on Monday.

“And those who have died will not come back by creating a furore over it,” he said at one point, arguing that there was no point in getting into a debate on whether the official number of deaths was correct.

The opposition Congress was quick to slam his remarks with party general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala saying, “These can only be the words of a merciless ruler.”

“There is a need to make a noise over every death which is the result of the government’s inefficiency, so that the deaf BJP government can hear the echo,” he said.

Adampur MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi also condemned the CM’s comment.

“These remarks are shameful. I strongly condemn the thinking of the chief minister,” the Congress leader tweeted.

Khattar had visited Rohtak, Panipat, Hisar and Faridabad to review the supply of oxygen and other facilities for COVID patients.

“We will do everything possible so that lives are saved. Whether the deaths are less or more, there is no point getting into this debate,” he said.

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“Whether we are able to set the systems right is the question. From our side, we are setting the systems in place,” he added.

Khattar said nobody had expected this kind of a situation.

“Who knew this pandemic will come, neither you knew nor we. To fight this, we need everyone’s cooperation including yours, mine, the patients’. Therefore, these issues should not be the topic of any controversy.”

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