Any unfortunate incident, event, attack, pandemic, or a disaster taking place in any city, state or country in the world has always forced its leaders to manipulate the figures of the fatalities.
The leaders, for many reasons, have to always play the fatality figure game.
Some of the reasons are:
1) If they show real numbers, which is always more than 2 or 3 folds, there will be fear and panic amongst the public.
2) The fear in the society will break them down morally, they would not return to work, hence slowing down the economy if not crippled.
3) Showing real figure exposes their incapabilities, unpreparedness, negligence, carelessness, corruption, and the lack of proper policy by the administration. Reducing figures will reduce the heat they have to face from the public and Media.
4) Another reason is for damage control of their political party to some extent. Everything is done with the next election and the voters in mind.
5) Media which is many times funded by the opposition parties and foreign elements are always waiting for such opportunities, to throw difficult questions to the ruling party leaders. Hence reducing figures gives some breather and they don’t have to face the heat that much.
6) Low figures reduce the insecurity amongst foreign investors who have already invested. This will stop them from pulling out from that city, state or country. Also removing hindrance for the new investors to start a new business and put their money with some confidence in the government.
7) If there is a terrorist attack sponsored by the enemy nation, then reducing figures will reduce their success. Because here, publicity of the number of deaths is the measurement of their success.
Usually, figure reducing is done when the numbers are very high, at least above 25. There’s no way to find out the real number of and fatalities. Nobody is going to visit all the relatives, hospitals, and the spots to cross-verify the official figures.
Even if someone does RTI, the figure will be the same as published. In my opinion, the figure reducing strategy is a must in any bad situation, for the betterment of the people of that city, state or any country, and for the quick recovery of the economy. Though the fear still remains in some people to some extent, but they gradually start to move on to their daily routine.
Remember, the figures always become an important part of history. They are used for years and decades, which keeps reminding the new generation and the students about something bad or terrible, which either occurred naturally or was done intentionally by some bad people, a group or a country. The less it gets promoted, the more chances it has to get lost somewhere down in the history books. But some things like COVID-19 lives forever.