Days after Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol alleged that at least 400 suspected COVID-19 deaths have gone unaccounted for in the city in July, district collector Naval Kishore Ram on Monday said these claims are not true.
The collector said compared to the same period in 2019, the number of "brought dead" cases in the state-run Sassoon General Hospital in the city has actually dropped by 50 per cent.
The hospital had 17 cases under the "brought dead" category in July this year, he said.
"If you compare the same number with July 2019, there has been a 50 per cent drop in the brought dead cases in the corresponding period this year. Last year, the number was 35," he told reporters.
The collector said the number of "natural" deaths in the hospital stood at 384 this year so far while the number of "unnatural" deaths is 144.
The number of natural deaths and unnatural deaths stood at 331 and 216, respectively, in July last year.
"Though the claims (made by the Mayor) related to the unaccounted deaths are not true, an inquiry has been initiated," the collector said.
Mohol had also said every month at least 400 to 500 deaths of suspected coronavirus patients were going unaccounted for in Sassoon hospital and in private hospitals in the city.
"There are at least 12 deaths of suspected coronavirus patients that are going unaccounted for in Sassoon daily.
Similar cases are taking place in private hospitals also," he had alleged.
He had said that these deaths remain unaccounted for because patients are either brought dead to hospitals or they die immediately after being brought there.