The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that the Ministry of Health and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have come up with guidelines for issuing “official document” for COVID-19 related deaths. The development comes following severe criticism by the Supreme Court over the framing of guidelines for issuing COVID-related death certificates.
The Centre’s affidavit before the top court provides that only those COVID-19 cases will be considered which have been diagnosed through RT-PCR test, molecular test, rapid-antigen test or clinically determined through investigations at a hospital or in-patient facility by a treating physician, while admitted at hospital or in-patient facility.
Deaths occurring due to poisoning, suicide, homicide and accident, among others, will not be considered as COVID-19 deaths even if the infection is an accompanying condition, the affidavit provides.
Patients who have “died either in hospital settings or at home, and where a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) in Form 4 and 4 A has been issued to the registering authority as required under Section 10 of the Registration of Birth and Death (RBD) Act, 1969, will be treated as a COVID-19 death,” the guidelines read.
According to an ICMR study, says the affidavit, 95 per cent of deaths take place within 25 days of a person testing COVID-19 positive.
“To make the scope broader and more inclusive, deaths occurring within 30 days from the date of testing or from the date of being clinically determined as a COVID-19 case, will be treated as deaths due to COVID-19, even if the death takes place outside the hospital/in-patient facility,” it says.
“However, a COVID-19 patient, while admitted at a hospital or in-patient facility, and who continued as the same admission beyond 30 days, and died subsequently, shall be treated as a Covid-19 death,” it added.
COVID-19 situation in India
The health ministry on Sunday informed that 28,591 fresh cases of COVID-19 have been reported in India in the past 24 hours. The addition of the fresh cases has taken the COVID-19 case tally past 3.32 crore.
The ministry also informed that over 73.82 crore COVID-19 jabs have been administered so far. Of it, over 72.86 lakh people were vaccinated on September 11.
Also, 338 COVID-19 related deaths were reported by the ministry during this period. The addition of the fresh fatalities has taken India’s death toll due to the deadly virus to 4,42,655. Previously, the death toll had touched 4,529-mark on May 19.
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