Amid opposition protests over the underreporting of COVID deaths in Kerala, the state government on Friday decided to include an additional 7,000 victims of the pandemic on its official death toll.
Vina George’s Health Secretary said another 7,000 deaths that occurred before hospitals began uploading such deaths online will be added to the state’s list of deaths from COVID.
Hospitals began posting COVID-19 deaths online in June this year. These are deaths that have not been documented and added to the official death toll, she told reporters.
When the issue was raised in the Assembly today, the minister denied opposition accusations that a large number of families of COVID victims in the state were denied compensation ordered by the Supreme Court and said no worthy family would be excluded from financial aid. in the southern state.
George said Kerala was the first in the country to set up COVID death assessment committees in line with the Center’s revised guidelines and expedited the process to seamlessly provide COVID death certificates to family members of victims.
A new information portal was also designed to help family members of those not on the pandemic death toll register their names online, she said, in response to a notice requesting the suspension of meetings of opposition-led UDF members led by Congress.
Those who face any difficulty applying digitally can also register at the nearest primary health care center, she said.
“The problems of registered families will be resolved within the next 30 days,” said George.
The death of any person within 30 days of being admitted to the hospital as a patient with COVID would be considered a death from COVID, she said, adding that an order has already been issued to allocate 50,000 rupees in financial assistance to close relatives of such people from the State Relief Fund for disasters.
“The state government very quickly took action to implement the directives in line with the new directives of the Center.
We are moving forward with a clear, concrete and time-bound plan to provide assistance to all applicants, ”the minister said.
“The LDF government is pursuing a tough policy, according to which no decent family can be denied compensation,” the minister added.
However, opposition leader V.D.Satisan argued that the southern state faced a dire situation in which tens of thousands of COVID victims were deprived of the financial assistance they deserve.
The government was reluctant to release the death toll before June 16, he said, adding that it also violates the ICMR directive that deaths of people suffering from fatal diseases such as cancer and deaths from coronavirus infection should be treated as death from COVID, he said.
The state has yet to announce any financial assistance other than compensation of Rs 50,000 ordered by the Supreme Court.
PK Vishnunath (Kong), which requested a motion notice, claimed that 60 percent of India’s total COVID deaths were in Kerala.
However, the speaker of MB Rajesh refused permission to move on the basis of the minister’s response.