Kerala Minister clarifies on ‘heat-related deaths’

Wrong data input by a primary health centre in Kannur led to the Centre putting the number of heatwave deaths in Kerala in 2023 as 120. The State has not reported any heat-related deaths in two years

Published - July 24, 2023 09:40 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Health Minister Veena George has asked the Director of Health Services to take action against those responsible for the Centre receiving wrong data on deaths due to heatwave in the State. According to the data furnished by the Centre in Lok Sabha, the number of heatwave deaths recorded in Kerala in 2023 was given as 120, whereas there has been no heat-related deaths in Kerala at all in the last two years.

A statement issued by the Health Minister’s office said that the preliminary report given by the DHS had traced the wrong data input to the Maloor primary health centre in Kannur district.

When contacted, the DHS said that disease data is uploaded directly into the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) portal and that a clerical error had led to wrong data entry of 120 instead of zero.

She said that the data once entered, can be corrected only at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The error should have been flagged immediately, because 120 people cannot die of heat stroke in a small PHC. The statement by the Health Minister said that steps had been taken to get the erroneous figure corrected.

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