Tamil Nadu government has added the death of 444 persons to the list of those who have succumbed to the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in the State.
All the 444 deaths have occurred in Chennai, taking the Covid-19 toll in the State’s capital to 1,939. Overall, Tamil Nadu’s Coronvirus toll is now 3,144 with the State reporting 1.86 lakh Covid-19 positive cases.
The toll update follows the recommendations of the Death Reconciliation Committee set up in the second week of June by the Tamil Nadu Directorate of Public Health (DPH).
The recommendations were made after data of Covid-19 deaths in Greater Chennai Corporation from 1 March were evaluated by the committee collecting details from medical college hospitals, Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services and private hospitals.
The evaluation was done after the Indian Council of Medical Research issued guidelines saying that deaths of Covid-19 patients are to be treated as Coronavirus deaths even if they were due to antecedent causes.
An 11-member committee was set up to “streamline death reports” of novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) after variations were found between the State government’s records and the Greater Corporation of Chennai (GCC) death registry.
While the Directorate of Public Health had recorded 224 deaths in the GCC limits till 8 June, the death registry showed 460 deaths due to Covid-19.
In one particular instance, the Directorate had not taken into account the death of 20 persons at Railway Hospital in Perambur.
The committee, headed by DPH officer on special duty Dr P Vadivelan, was asked “reconcile and analyse” the records in a week’s time.
The Directorate also asked all hospitals to report deaths to the GCC as well as the department by email. It has also asked GCC to send Coronavirus death reports in the “prescribed formats” to reconcile and analyse.
Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan has said that the reconciliation of death figures will now be done on a weekly basis with the Director of Medical Services reviewing it.
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