Delhi

Coronavirus | Delhi government reports less COVID-19 deaths than hospitals

Staff guiding people outside the COVID-19 ward at the LNJP Hospital, during the 30th day of the complete lockdown to prevent spreading of coronavirus, in New Delhi on April 23, 2020.

Staff guiding people outside the COVID-19 ward at the LNJP Hospital, during the 30th day of the complete lockdown to prevent spreading of coronavirus, in New Delhi on April 23, 2020.   | Photo Credit: R. V. Moorthy

The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in the city reported by the Delhi government is lesser than the number of deaths reported by just two city hospitals.

While the Delhi government’s statement says 68 coronavirus-related deaths have occurred in the national capital till Friday, the number of such deaths in just two hospitals in the city that The Hindu accessed was 107.

“Each and every death reported by hospitals has to be certified by a death (audit) committee and only then it’s reflected in the health bulletin (official statement),” the Delhi government spokesperson said, when asked about the lesser number of deaths reported by the government.

According to the Delhi government, 26 COVID-19 related deaths have taken place at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital till Friday, but the Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Dr. Minakshi Bharadwaj, said 52 such deaths have occured in the hospital till Friday.

 

“We have multiple times raised the issue of lesser number of deaths from our hospital being reported by the Delhi government. Even the total number of positive cases reported by them of our hospital is less. Every day, we are sending fresh data and I have no idea why they are reporting lesser (number of) cases,” she said.

Similarly, according to the Delhi government, five deaths have occurred in Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP) till Friday, but as per the hospital, 55 COVID-19 positive deaths have taken place in the hospital till Friday.

The total number of deaths reported by the Delhi government is from 10 hospitals, which treat COVID-19 patients. The deaths from other hospitals in the city, which do not treat coronavirus patients but have patients who die and test positive later, are also included.

The Delhi government, in a statement on Saturday, “strongly denied this allegation”. “This is completely false and politically motivated. There is an Audit committee of doctors that investigates every death incident reported by COVID hospitals and ensures that every death is reported. There's no interference of any kind in the work of this Committee," it said.

 

The “death audit committee” referred to by the Delhi government spokesperson, was formed by the Delhi government only on April 20. “The responsibility of the committee would be to audit daily each and every death in which the COVID-19 test is positive in Government and Private Hospitals of NCT of Delhi before releasing data,” said an official order issued on April 20, on the formation of the committee.

The spokesperson did not clarify how the data on the number of deaths were released by the government before April 20.

“We are looking into why this gap is there and we are talking to hospitals also,” a health department hospital said.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 2:51:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/coronavirus-delhi-government-reports-less-covid-19-deaths-than-hospitals/article31541773.ece

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