Death in 30 days of positive test to get Covid-19 stamp: Government

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The demise of any person within 30 days of being detected Covid-positive at hospital or home shall be treated as Covid death irrespective of co-morbidities for issuing a death certificate, according to the latest guidelines framed by the Centre. 

The guidelines shared with the Supreme Court came after the court’s June 30 verdict, which had sought clear steps to simplify the norms for issuance and correction of death certificates and official documents. The certificates must state upfront the exact cause of death, that is, ‘death due to Covid’, to enable dependents to get benefits of welfare schemes, the SC had directed.

To determine the benchmark, the Centre’s affidavit cited a study by Indian Council of Medical Research, which found that 95% of deaths take place within 25 days of being tested Covid 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.” 

Also, Covid cases admitted in hospital/in-patient facility who continued as the same admission beyond 30 days and later died, shall be treated as Covid deaths. “Deaths occurring due to poisoning, suicide, homicide and deaths due to accident, among others, will not be considered Covid deaths even if Covid is an accompanying condition,” the guidelines added.

Those unsatisfied with the death certificate can submit a petition to a committee that would include an additional district collector, the chief medical officer of health  and a subject matter expert, for issuing of the ‘Official Document for Covid Death’, the guidelines further stated.

Grievance redress

A committee will be set up at the district level to deal with grievances if the next of kin of the deceased is not satisfied with the cause of death given in the certificate. The panel has to dispose the plaint of within 30 days