Tamil Nadu

Arappor Iyakkam raises three cases of alleged ‘under-reporting’ of COVID-19 deaths

NGO refers to two cases in Stanley and one in Raja Muthiah Medical College hospital

Arappor Iyakkam has flagged three cases of alleged “under-reporting” of deaths due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the State.

In a complaint to the Health Secretary, Jayaram Venkatesan, convenor of the NGO, pointed out the deaths of three persons — two in Government Stanley Medical College Hospital in Chennai and one in Raja Muthiah Medical College Hospital, Cuddalore — that have not been reported by the health department till date.

In the first case, the mortuary card of a 50-year-old man, who was admitted to Government Stanley Medical College Hospital at 12.30 p.m. on May 26 and who died at 12.30 a.m. on May 28, listed the causes of his death as: COVID-19 positive, acute encephalopathy, respiratory failure and diabetes. The card was signed by a doctor, Resident Medical Officer and mortuary attender. The death should have been shown in the list of COVID-19 patients who died either on May 28 or May 29. However, on both these dates, not a single death was reported from the hospital. The death was unreported by the health department till date, he said.

In the second case, a 69-year-old died at the Stanley Hospital at 7 p.m. on May 31 due to acute pulmonary edema, cardiogenic block and coronary artery disease and COVID-19. The mortuary card showed he was admitted to the COVID-19 ward. This death too was not reported by the department in its daily bulletin.

A 87-year-old man, who tested positive for COVID-19, was admitted to Raja Muthiah Medical College Hospital, Cuddalore, and was reported in the bulletin dated May 29 as case number 20504. The NGO learnt that the patient died on June 4 but the death was not reported till date.

Mr. Venkatesan, in the letter, stated that the three cases prima facie raised serious doubts on the death cases being reported by the State government. Reporting deaths transparently was the need of the hour, he said, adding that hiding of any deaths would only lead to more fear among the people.

He demanded a thorough inquiry into these incidents.

Health Secretary Beela Rajesh said reconciliation with Chennai Corporation and home deaths was being done.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 7:02:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/arappor-iyakkam-raises-three-cases-of-alleged-under-reporting-of-covid-19-deaths/article31786957.ece

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