Under fire over Covid-19 death numbers, Delhi govt issues SOP for hospitals

The new order by Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev has instructed all the government and private hospitals in Delhi to get the deaths due to Covid-19 checked by the Death Audit Committee.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (L) and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia. (Photo: PTI)

Facing criticism for “under-reporting” Covid-19 deaths, Delhi chief secretary on Sunday issued a new order, along with a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), under which all Covid-19 hospitals and other facilities will e-mail a ‘death report’ to the government by 5 pm every day.

The new order by Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev has instructed all the government and private hospitals in Delhi to get the deaths due to Covid-19 checked by the Death Audit Committee.

Dev also warned of strict action if any delay in reporting of fatalities is found.

Officials of the 10 hospitals treating Covid-19 patients have said the number of people died due to the virus is higher than what the Delhi government’s bulletin reflects.

“Every Covid-19 hospital and other health facilities will appoint nodal officers who will ensure timely communication of deaths,” Dev said in the order.

If there is a delay in reporting deaths, the medical superintendent, medical director or nodal officer of ‘defaulter hospital’ will have to file a written explanation, the official order said.

On Saturday, Congress leader Ajay Maken sought more transparency from the Kejriwal government while Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari urged the chief minister to “tell the truth” about Covid-19 deaths in the city, saying people have a right to know about the severity of the outbreak.

Under the system, customers are given a specific time for purchasing alcohol so that there is no violation of social distancing norms by people queuing up outside liquor stores.

Chief secretary as the chairman of Delhi disaster management authority has ordered that hospitals before releasing the data should report the death case along with case sheet to the committee.

(With inputs from Kunal Kumar, PTI)

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