Tamil Nadu

A territorial fight over death of a COVID-19 patient

Nearly 45 days after a senior citizen of Mahe, an enclave of the Puducherry Union Territory in Kerala, died of COVID-19, his death remains out of official records following a territorial fight between Kerala and Puducherry.

The 71-year-old Mahe native was hospitalised in a very critical condition at Pariyaram Medical College in Kannur district of Kerala on April 7 after he tested positive for COVID-19 while undergoing treatment for respiratory illness at a private hospital. He died at the hospital on April 11 and his body was buried at a mosque near the medical college.

While Kerala government refused to include his name in the list of COVID-19 deaths as he was a native of Mahe, the territorial administration did not include his death in the Puducherry tally citing guidelines of the Union Ministry of Health.

“Our State surveillance unit has received two mails which clarify that the death has to be recorded by the State where he was treated and died. Since it is an inter-State issue, we have to abide by the advice of the Central government,” Aman Sharma, Regional Administrator, Mahe told The Hindu.

“It is almost 45 days since he died. We have been running between Kannur District Collectorate and Mahe Regional Administrator’s Office to get his death officially accounted in the COVID tally. The Centre should find an amicable solution to this,” the son-in-law of the deceased, Najeeb Velikoth, said.

Former Waqf Board Chairman V. P Abdul Rahman has sought the intervention of Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi in the issue. In a letter to Ms. Bedi on Sunday, Mr. Rahman said the family of the deceased had been left in the lurch and made to run from pillar to post to get his death recorded. He pointed out that the man was a resident of Mahe and was getting welfare pension from the government. He had gone to Kerala for treatment as Mahe did not have the facility.

The UT cannot refuse to record his death merely because he died in Kerala. “It is an irrational technical reason to cite,” Mr. Rahman said.

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2020 6:06:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/a-territorial-fight-over-death-of-a-covid-19-patient/article31675181.ece

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