May 18, 2020 12:57:08 pm
The Delhi government has decided not to take test samples after death even if the person is suspected to have died of coronavirus. In an order issued by the Delhi Health Secretary Padmini Singla, the Delhi health department said, “No sample for Covid-19 test will be taken of dead body. However, if doctors are satisfied from clinical examination that the cause of death may be Covid-19 infection, the dead body may be released as suspect Covid-19 infected dead body,” states the order passed Sunday.
However, even those suspected to have died of coronavirus have to be buried or cremated as ICMR protocols. As reported by The Indian Express, over the past two months, five cremation/burial grounds in the capital have carried out 410 funerals as per the standard operating procedure (SOP) for Covid patients, which is followed for confirmed as well as suspected cases.
The official number of Covid deaths in the city has meanwhile more than doubled — from 73 on May 10 to 148 a week later, with the Delhi government updating the figures to include those who had died in April and May so far.
The Indian Express had on May 9 reported a mismatch in Covid death figures shared by the government and four hospitals. Health Minister Satyendar Jain has said the mismatch was because hospitals were not releasing death summaries of those who had died, on time.
On Sunday, Jain said the backlog in reporting deaths was “nearly over”. No death was reported from the city Sunday, but 19 previous casualties were added taking the toll to 148.
Neither Jain nor Singla responded to calls and messages seeking clarity on the new order, which does away with the need to collect samples after death.
“We have directed all hospitals to submit death summary records and we are compiling them. We are hopeful that within two or three days every report will be compiled,” Jain said.
The total cases in the city touched 9,755 Sunday, with 422 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. The number of people requiring ICU facilities has risen to 152 from 91 last week, while the number of people on ventilators has reduced — from 27 last week to 21 this week. The city has performed 1,35,791 tests so far.
On why the number of containment zones in the city had not risen despite a sharp spike in the number of cases over the past two weeks, Jain said a large number of cases were being reported among healthcare workers, police officials and BSF jawans. “If we see many cases coming from the same area, it will be declared a containment zone immediately,” he said.
There are 64 containment zones in the city at the moment, with 26 areas having been de-contained so far.
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