Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren said on Sunday that COVID numbers of the state were high as it was reporting the actual data and not fudging any figures.

Addressing a meeting with officials, heads of hospitals and doctors, Soren said the state machinery should be prepared to deal with a potential third wave of the pandemic.

“We did not tamper with any data. There was no fudging of numbers. We presented correct figures of deaths at hospitals and cremation centres and that is why our COVID numbers are high. We took the right steps in the right direction to contain the virus,” the chief minister said.

He said the partial lockdown in the state has resulted in success in tackling the COVID-19 and his government is not hesitant in taking tough decisions, if needed.

The inter-state movement had to be restrained as 23 of the 24 districts are bordering different states such as Bihar, West Bengal, Chattisgarh and Odisha, he said.

“In this battle of livelihood and life, we are working very carefully to save both,” Soren said.

“There is a need to chalk out a strategy to contain the potential third wave. There is a need to augment health infrastructure. At the same time, the state has issued directions to prepare child wards in district and block hospitals, besides children care units in all hospitals,” he said.

Meanwhile, the state on Sunday reported 2,037 new COVID-19 cases and 41 deaths.

The new cases were detected after testing 58,347 samples since Saturday.

State capital Ranchi recorded nine deaths in the last 24 hours, while East Singhbhum reported seven fatalities.

Jharkhand has so far reported 3,29,072 cases and 4,801 deaths.

There are 22,566 active cases and 3,01,705 patients have recovered from the infection.

Battling the sharp surge in COVID-19 cases, the state government has extended the lockdown till May 27.

The chief minister approved an additional 39.79 crore expenditure to augment the honorarium of about 80,000 mid-day meal assistants in the state which has been hiked from 500 a month to 2,000.

Soren also approved action against officials involved in alleged fraudulent practices relating to about five acres of land at Kanke.

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