COVID19: Headlines Management in Delhi

It is really very sad and unfortunate to find out that a democratically elected government fails to even maintain the integrity of data, however it is not something new. Previously many governments (states and centre) have intentionally been involved in such practices. Similarly Delhi government seems to be intentionally under reporting the daily data relating to Covid19 confirmed cases as well death toll with the sole purpose of avoiding any negative news headline!

On 8th May 2020 total confirmed cases in Delhi was 562 but the Delhi government published this data in two phases in two days. On 8th May 2020, the government released data that claimed that the total numbers of new confirmed cases in Delhi were 338. It was really good and relaxing to see a decline in daily confirmed cases. But on 9th May evening the Delhi government released a set of data that claimed 224 confirmed cases.

At the first glance and as per practices followed by the Delhi government, it seemed that the numbers were for 9th May but basically those were for the last 8 hours of 8th May 2020 not for 9th May and there is no word about 9th May in daily health bulletin and on 10th May health bulletin only talks about 10th May 2020! Perhaps data is being withheld to be released on a later date when it is convenient and comfortable to release by clubbing it to a day/days when these numbers are low so that Delhi government’s failures couldn't attract headlines in the media!
Same is true with the total numbers of deaths in Delhi due to Coronavirus infection as on 8th May 2020. The data from the hospitals in Delhi are telling a different story and the state government is propagating a different story altogether! Hospitals are reporting 116 deaths as on 8th May 2020 but the Delhi government is claiming only 68!

It is very much clear that the Delhi government is busy in information management by tempering the integrity of data; however it brings down the authenticity of data! Also it is quite possible that some other states might be doing the same!

Rajeev Upadhyay

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