On October 22, the number of deaths reported due to Covid-19 in Kerala was 563. Of these, 292 were deaths that were not reported due to lack of relevant documents until June 14 and 172 deaths were reported as per the changed guidelines by the central government. This trend has continued from October 22 to 27, and 1,650 cases, which were not reported until June 14 because of lack of proper documents, and also 654 deaths, were reported because of the alteration in the protocol by the Centre, taking the total number of Covid deaths in the state to 29,977.
The opposition has been criticising the Kerala government for the under-reporting of coronavirus-related deaths. Health minister Veena George said that the state has been following the WHO, ICMR and central government guidelines in reporting deaths. She added that from June 16, a new system has been put in place where the deaths can be reported by the treating doctors themselves in the respective hospitals and the figures will be directly updated. Prior to that, the system was that when a death happened, the documents were sent to the committee at the state level; it verified the documents and then updated the data. This was time-consuming, and at the same time, many cases were set aside due to the lack of appropriate documents.
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The state health minister said that directions have already been given to the district medical officers to look into this issue and take necessary action if anyone has not been included in the list. She also revealed in the state assembly that 41 pregnant women have so far died of Covid in Kerala since the infection erupted, and 149 people affected by the disease have taken their own lives.
Dr Anish TS, member of the state Covid expert committee, said that the seven-day average number of daily deaths in India has dropped by 44 per cent, and in Kerala it has gone down by 53 per cent.
“Earlier there was a reporting committee at the state level. If the reports are not available there will be a delay. Post June 16, deaths can be reported in real-time from the same hospital. Earlier people were also not very keen on getting the deaths reported as Covid deaths. After the compensation system, now there is a demand from the public also to report Covid deaths,” he said.
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Dr Anish also added that if one looks at the trend for the past month in India, the reduction in the seven-day average of cases is around 51 per cent and it is the same in Kerala.Internet Explorer Channel Network