The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that all deaths with a diagnosis of COVID-19, irrespective of co-morbidities, are to be classified as deaths due to COVID-19.
“All deaths with a diagnosis of COVID-19, irrespective of co-morbidities, are to be classified as deaths due to COVID-19. The only exception could be where there is a clear alternative cause of death, that cannot be attributed to COVID-19 (e.g. accidental trauma, poisoning, acute myocardial infarction, etc), where COVID-19 is an incidental finding,” the home ministry said in its affidavit.
The MHA submitted for the recording of Covid-19 deaths, that there is a statutory mechanism in place either by way of an Act of Parliament or guidelines having the force of mandate and the law.
Any breach of the guidelines mentioned hereunder would be a criminal offense as stipulated under section 188 of the IPC.
The affidavit said broad guidelines for recording COVID-19 related deaths in India were prepared by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
“The guidelines clearly state positive deaths, implicate deaths related to COVID-19. Further, these guidelines are in sync with the WHO Mortality Coding”, said the affidavit.
The affidavit said the ministry of health had released guidelines on the distinction between ‘death audit’ and ‘death certification’.
On May 24, the top court had suggested there must be a uniform policy and also some guidelines for issuance of death certificates for those affected with Covid-19.