The special committee formed to reconcile the deaths has submitted its report to the State Government.
The Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine had set up a special committee to reconcile 236 deaths, that were reported by Greater Chennai Corporation but were not found in the records of Directorate of Public Health.
As per the protocols of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), death of any COVID-19 positive patient was to be reported as a COVID-19 death, irrespective of the comorbidities. The special committee compiled the data from about 199 burial grounds across the 15 zones in the city and audit was completed for all the deaths due to COVID-19 so far.
"The difference in numbers appeared as several private hospitals did not notify the deaths to Directorate of Public Health but only to the Greater Chennai Corporation. Similarly, there were several deaths reported in homes that were not informed to Directorate of Public Health. After this, all the private hospitals were instructed to inform Greater Chennai Corporation and Directorate of Public Health of any COVID-19 deaths," said a senior official from the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
The committee headed by Dr P Vadivelan has completed the reconciliation of the deaths and the report has been submitted to the State government. As per sources, the reconciled deaths will be added as suspected deaths due to COVID19 in the State.
When contacted, Director of Public Health Dr TS Selvavinayagam said that the report has been submitted to the government and it is the State government that would take a call on the same and then only an official statement can be given on adding the numbers or keeping them suspected deaths," he said.