Doubts raised over number of COVID-19 deaths

Congress member Prakash Rathod on Monday expressed suspicion over the COVID-19 death toll in Karnataka and sought a death audit to ascertain the actual figure.

Mr. Rathod said that many people in rural areas had died at home without an RT-PCR test or CT scan and had not even gone to hospital. “The government figures for COVID-19 are too low,” he said. Government data shows that a total of 9.4 lakh deaths have been registered in Karnataka between March 1, 2020, and August 31, 2021, of which 37,423 persons died of the pandemic.

Mr. Rathod said Supreme Court had also directed review of number of deaths. Correct figures would help BPL families that lost its members to get ₹1 lakh compensation announced by the State government, he added.

Health Minister K. Sudhakar said that the State had been conducting a death audit since the first wave and specific reasons for death are being recorded. He pointed out that 221 diseases have been identified for reasons of death, and death due to COVID-19/ COVID-19 symptoms were being recorded separately by the Registrar of Births and Deaths. “The figures will be reconciled in December,” he said.

He, however, said that identifying those who died at home due to COVID-19 would be technically and practically difficult.

The Health Minister also said that so far 5.2 crore persons in the State have received vaccine shots of whom about 25% had received both the doses. “By the end of December, we are hoping that all those above 18 years old will be vaccinated” he said. He said that as the third stage of clinical trials for vaccinating children between 14 years and 18 years are underway, the State was hoping that the vaccine would be made available to this category at the earliest.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 1:30:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/doubts-raised-over-number-of-covid-19-deaths/article36579669.ece

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