Covid-19 deaths being under-reported in Surat?

Yet another NGO alleges that actual figures are being fudged in the city


Just weeks after the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) had reported discrepancies in the data regarding Covid-19 cases in Surat, a diamond, textiles and heavy industries hub, yet another NGO, Ekta Manch has raised serious concerns about a discrepancy in the reportage of number of Covid-19 related deaths in the city.

Ekta Manch is reportedly helping the Surat Municipal Corporation conduct last rights of Covid-19 victims hailing from both Hindu and Muslim communities. A representative of the NGO told Ahmedabad Mirror that they were cremating and burying as many as 50-60 bodies per day till about five days ago. This is in sharp contrast with government data.

According to official Gujarat Government figures ( there are currently 2,969 active cases in the state. So far, a total of 224 people have died of the disease, out of which only 5 deaths took place yesterday.

However, according to authorities, the discrepancy could be attributed to comorbid cases not being included in the death toll. Indeed, Milind Torawane, in-charge of Surat city for Covid, told Ahmedabad Mirror, “As per the ICMR guidelines, the comorbid cases aren’t counted as Covid.”

But even if that were the case, it means 45-55 people are dying due to comorbidity issues everyday and this indicates that the infection is more widespread than what the official data suggests.

Discrepancies in testing data were also highlighted in PUCL’s report published on June 21. According to PUCL’s analysis, “From 1st positive case on March 16, 2020 till May 31, 2020 the positive cases in Surat stood at 1597 as given in the updates, 1662 as shown on the Covid dashboard, 1624 as total of bifurcation provided and 1399 as provided in the Zone wise data by SMC. These figures from the same source, i.e. SMC do not match each other. Why such discrepancy or mismatch? This mismatch has to be explained and answered.”

Meanwhile the Times of India reported that two dozen textile markets comprising 35,000 shops have decided to voluntarily shut down ill July 20, after 600 people working in the sector tested positive for Covid-19. Similar voluntary shutdowns are being reported from the diamond industry as well.


PUCL finds glaring discrepancies in Surat Covid-19 updates from Lockdown 1 – 4



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