New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that the Covid death numbers could be five to six times higher in India, but the focus should be on vaccination, as the second wave was bad, the third wave could be worse.

Rahul Gandhi, during his virtual press conference, was responding to a question on data being fudged on Covid deaths.

Rahul Gandhi said, “It is sure and there is no doubt that the government is hiding the truth. In my view, the number of death is five to six times of the reported figure, but it is not productive for us to get into discussion of number of deaths as to how many people died. Of course, the compensation is critical and there are ways in which figures can be verified but the discussion should not be on the numbers, but it should be on what we should do next.”

“We can attack the government after the pandemic is over — that you lied on the numbers but today is the time and again I am repeating myself, if you think the second wave was bad, then the third wave is going to be worse. So focus should be on vaccination and we should ensure that virus should not be given space to regenerate,” he added.

The Congress leader said that the only way out is to vaccinate 100 per cent of the population and the focus should be on it, while saying that it’s good that more than 80 lakh people took vaccines on Monday, but this should be an ongoing process.

He said that the government should allow as many vaccines as possible and refused to join issues on efficacy and time period and stated that it should be left to the experts.

Earlier, Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday released a white paper of the party on the Covid pandemic and said that the aim of the report is not to finger point at the government but to help the nation prepare for the third wave.

He also asked the government to make Covid fund for the families who lost their kin and implement the NYAY scheme.

The Congress leader said that the entire country knows that before the second wave, the scientists and doctors warned us. “Government did not take the necessary action to prevent the second wave of Covid,” he said, adding that today again we are standing here.

“Entire country knows that the third wave is going to come as the virus is mutating. And we are saying again that the government should prepare immediately, the requirements of medicines, infrastructures, oxygen supplies and hospitals,” he said.

“The purpose of this white paper is to help the government to prepare for the third wave,” Rahul Gandhi said.

He said that this is our intention to provide the government the insights on what to be done. He also pointed out that it is clear that management of the first and second wave of Covid was disastrous, and we have tried to point out the reasons behind it. He asserted, “I would even go so far as to say that there might be waves even after the third wave of Covid-19 as the virus is mutating”.

He also said that the central pillar of fighting Covid is vaccination.

Stressing on providing financial assistance to the people, the Congress leader urged the government to implement the NYAY scheme and come up with Covid fund to provide monetary support to people who lost their kin due to the pandemic.


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