Ker govt has nothing to hide on Covid deaths: Minister

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 1 (PTI): The Kerala government has nothing to hide with regard to deaths due to COVID-19, state Health Minister Veena George said even as the opposition Congress alleged that those due to pandemic related complications were not being included.

A new transparent and decentralisedonline system has been put in place to report deaths due to the virus,George told reporters on Thursday, a day after the Supreme Court directed theNational Disaster Management Authority to issue guidelines in six weeks for ex-gratia compensation to families of those who died of COVID.

There is a new transparent online system to report pandemic deaths.

When a Covid patient passes away, the doctor concerned or the hospital superintendent has to report the matter within 24 hours.

The information is then updated into the system, the minister told reporters here.

Kerala is a state where 100 per cent births and deaths are reported. It is not as if the state decides on which death to be categorised as due to Covid or not, she said.

Whether a death is due to Covid or not, only the doctor concerned can decide based on the guidelines of ICMR and WHO, the minister said.

'The state government has nothing to hide on the matter and earlier also based on the ICMR and WHO guidelines covid deaths were being reported,' the minister said when asked about the Opposition charge that the government was not considering deaths due to post covid complications as fatalities due to the disease.

There has been no lapses on the government's part on the matter and if there are isolated incidents, it would be examined, she said.

The government will take all efforts to ensure that the families of the deceased covid patients get all help.

Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly V D Satheeshan had said all deaths due to Covid related complications should be considered due to the pandemic.

The matter had been raised in the assembly also by the opposition, which has been alleging that attempts were being made to cover up Covid deaths in the state to project the Kerala model of coronavirus containment.

Slamming the government, KPCC President K Sudhakaran said the state should re-examine all deaths due to the post covid ailments.

As per government figures, 13,235 people have lost their lives to the virus, while at least 25,000 might have perished, he claimed.

The apex court had also ordered steps to simplify guidelines for issuance and correction of 'death certificate/officialdocuments stating the exact cause of death, that is death due to Covid-19' for enabling dependents to get benefits of welfare schemes'.PTI UD SS PTI PTI

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