The Centre’s claim that Kerala did not submit daily coronavirus figures for five days last week is wrong, state Health Minister Veena George said on Tuesday, reported PTI.
The statement came a day after the Union health ministry directed the Kerala government to provide daily updates on Covid-19 cases and deaths. The ministry claimed that on Monday, Kerala had reported the figures after a gap of five days since April 13.
In a letter sent to Kerala’s principal health secretary, the ministry had said that the delay has “skewed the status of India’s key monitoring indicators like cases, deaths and positivity”.
On Monday, India had recorded 2,183 new coronavirus cases, a jump of 89.8% from Sunday’s 1,150 infections. The ministry had blamed the 89.8% surge in new cases and 165% increase in positivity to the delay by Kerala to submit the daily figures.
However, on Tuesday, George claimed that the state had submitted the Covid-19 updates to the Centre on a daily basis. She told reporters that the state had digital evidence to back her claim.
“The state would soon submit a reply to the Centre’s letter attaching all the details,” she said.
George also criticised the Centre for leaking the letter to the media, reported NDTV.
“Unfortunate that a responsible person from the health ministry wrote a letter to [the] Kerala government and put it out to [the] media for discussion,” she alleged.
The minister said that the only change in the process was that the state had stopped putting out daily coronavirus figures publicly since April 10. She said that the the state government had decided to do so as the daily case numbers had dropped.
“However, the Covid-19 data is strictly being collected, submitted to the Centre and reviewed accurately,” she said. The minister said that the daily Covid-19 figures would be put out publicly again if the cases increase.
Kerala reported 213 Covid-19 deaths and 209 cases on Monday, according to the Union health ministry’s update. However, only person of the 213 had died in the previous 24 hours and the rest were backlog deaths.
Sixty-two fatalities were designated as Covid-19 fatalities after the state received appeals based on Centre’s guidelines on categorising deaths due to the infection and the remaining 150 happened between April 13 and April 16, according to the health ministry.