The Centre on Saturday informed the Supreme Court that along with the Indian Council of Medical Research, it has framed a set of guidelines for issuing certificates for Covid-19 deaths, PTI reported.
The government’s response came 10 days after the top court pulled it up for the delay in framing the rules. “By the time you take further steps, the third wave will also be over,” the Supreme Court had said.
The guidelines cited an ICMR study which said that 95% of coronavirus deaths occur within 25 days of patients testing positive for the infection.
“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,” the guidelines said.
In case a patient admitted to a medical facility for more than 30 days dies there, that will also be considered a Covid-19 death, the document added.
The guidelines define Covid-19 cases as those “which are diagnosed through a positive RT-PCR [Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction] tests/ Molecular Tests/ RAT [rapid antigen tests] or clinically determined in a hospital/ in-patient facility by a treating physician”.
The health ministry and ICMR’s guidelines stated that in case the families of the deceased are not satisfied with the cause of death mentioned in the medical certificate, a district-level committee should be formed to look into their concerns, according to PTI.
The committee will suggest remedial measures, including issuing a modified document for deaths. after verifying facts related to cases.
India has recorded 4,42,655 deaths since the since the outbreak of the pandemic in January last year. As of Sunday morning, the country’s cumulative tally of infections stands at 3,32,36,921.