Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala government has been sending out COVID-19 data regularly since 2020, said Health Minister Veena George rejecting the Centre's claims of not providing daily COVID reports.
The state health minister called the claims "absolutely wrong". George explained that state government only stopped publishing daily bulletin in the state but has been sending it out to National Surveillance Unit in the format suggested by the Centre.
The Centre on April 18 wrote a letter to the Kerala government stating that it is reporting COVID data after a gap of five days, which has impacted and skewed the status of India's key monitoring COVID indicators like the number of cases, deaths and positivity rate.
"Allegations that Kerala government is not giving COVID data to the Centre are absolutely wrong. We've been sending data since 2020, and continue to do so. It's just that we have stopped publishing daily bulletin in the state; have been sending mails," George said a day after the letter was sent by Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal to Kerala's Principal Secretary of Health Rajan N Khobragade.
Terming the claims as "unfortunate", George said, "We are giving daily (COVID) report to National Surveillance Unit in the format suggested by Union Government; quite unfortunate that a responsible person from Union Government is sending a letter to Principal Secretary stating that Kerala is not giving data to the Centre."
"Daily and diligent reporting of data is critical to arrive at a meaningful understanding of the pandemic in districts, state and national level and ensure that any anomalies, surge or emerging trends can be captured in a timely manner," Agarwal stated in the letter.
"It has been observed that Kerala has reported its state-level COVID-19 data after a gap of five days (since April 13). This has impacted and skewed the status of India's key monitoring indicators like cases, deaths and positivity. India has reported a 90 per cent increase in new cases and 165 per cent increase in positivity in a single day," he also said.