‘Official death toll based on audit panel report’

The difference in the numbers of COVID-19 deaths and burials as reported by the Delhi government and the municipal corporations respectively, may be attributed to the fact that the deaths mentioned in the government’s health bulletin are first certified by a Death Audit Committee, a government official said on Friday.

In response to an inquiry by the Health Secretary on the number of cremations or burials that had taken place so far, the North and South Delhi Municipal Corporations, in a submission on May 17, stated that a total of 559 COVID-19 positive and COVID-19 suspected deaths had been processed.

Of these, 426 have been identified as COVID-19 positive and 133 as COVID-19 suspected deaths. These categorisations are made based on information provided by hospitals, civic body officials said. On the other hand, as of Friday, the government has only reported 208 deaths from the disease.

The total number of deaths reported by the Delhi government has been less than the figures from the hospitals.

On May 14, the Delhi government stopped releasing hospital-wise figures for COVID-19 deaths in the city. A government official said that all hospitals sent death reports to a Death Audit Committee appointed by the Delhi government on April 20.

“The committee goes through the reports and only the ones that fall into the criteria mentioned in the ICMR [Indian Council of Medical Research] guidelines will be certified as COVID-19 deaths,” the official said. These deaths are mentioned in the health bulletin released by the Delhi government every day.

The Delhi government spokesperson did not respond to multiple calls and messages

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 4:45:04 PM |

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