Andhra Pradesh

COVID death claims surpass official toll

A health technician collecting a sample from a woman for the COVID-19 test in Vijayawada on Thursday.

A health technician collecting a sample from a woman for the COVID-19 test in Vijayawada on Thursday.

The total number of deaths registered due to COVID-19 in Anantapur district stood at 1,124 until November-end, but as soon as the government announced a compensation of ₹50,000 to next of kin of these victims, the special cell created for the purpose received 2,200 applications till Monday morning.

Besides, there is also a discrepancy between the figure being shown by the State COVID-19 control room in the daily bulletin (1,098 deaths) and the Daily Collector Reporting Format of Anantapur that puts the toll at 1,124.

Even if the discrepancy is ignored, the claims are nearly double the official death toll. The government had set November 29 as the deadline, but has now instructed the officials to accept all the claims that are being made. Faisal Ahmed, who was at the counter to make a claim, alleged that the death toll due to COVID in the district was more than the official figure, as many COVID deaths were being registered as deaths due to heart failure or multi-organ failure.

‘Long process’

Meanwhile, the claims are acceptable only if made in a specific format, and which require a set of documents including the hospital death summary, details of cause of death, Aadhaar card copy of both the victim and claimant and the claimant’s relationship with the victim (family certificate).

Getting all the certificates right has become a Herculean task for people like A. Pothakka, whose husband had died of COVID in the Super Speciality Hospital in Anantapur on May 29 this year. She had gone from pillar to post for 10 days to get all papers.

“I do not know where to get the summary of death and its actual cause and now I need to visit the MRO to get a family certificate, which the staff say would take 10 days for procuring,” Pothakka says, between her sobs.


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Printable version | May 17, 2022 12:49:21 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/covid-death-claims-surpass-official-toll/article37875799.ece