Tamil Nadu

Committees constituted at State, district levels to audit COVID-19 deaths

The Health Department has constituted State- and district-level committees to audit all deaths caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The committees were formed following a proposal from the Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, who had stated that it was pertinent to audit all deaths attributed to COVID-19 and ascertain the medical and non-medical causes of the deaths. This would help in understanding the circumstances that had led to the deaths, and lapses, if any, in prevention and case management. The findings of the audit would help in developing strategies for improving prevention and control measures, and ensuring protocol-based management of COVID-19 cases, the top official had said.

In an order issued on Monday, the Department said that in some instances, the circumstances leading to the death and the medical cause of the death could not be accurately determined, for various reasons. Some deaths that were unrelated to COVID-19 were also reported as suspected COVID-19 deaths, it noted.

The State-level committee, which will be chaired by the Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, will frame guidelines for the audit of COVID-19-related deaths and the necessary formats for the audit, such as verbal autopsy. It will scrutinise all the reports from the deputy directors/joint directors of health services/deans, review the quality of the COVID-19 death audit and take necessary action. It will analyse the overall trend and the factors that had led to the deaths, and suggest measures for preventing deaths related to severe acute respiratory infection (SARI)/COVID-19.

The district-level committee will have the deputy director of health services as its member secretary/convenor. The committee would meet within two days of a SARI death and complete the audit. Details of the proceedings of the committee will be sent to the Director of Public Health on the same day as the audit. The committee should confirm the cause of death and the predisposing factors for the death, and recommend appropriate measures to prevent such occurrences in the future.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 1:37:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/committees-constituted-at-state-district-levels-to-audit-covid-19-deaths/article31400573.ece

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