District-level committees to verify COVID death notified

To determine cause of death for ex-gratia payment of ₹50,000 to next of kin

Telangana government has issued orders notifying district-level COVID-19 Death Ascertaining Committee (CDAC) for issuing ‘Official document for COVID-19 Death’. An order issued on Monday has detailed the procedure to be followed by kin of the deceased to get the document.

According to orders, the next of kin shall submit an application through Mee Seva centre to get the ‘Official Document for COVID-19 Death’.

Health department officials have also communicated the ‘Guidelines for Ex-gratia assistance to next of kin of the deceased by COVID-19’ issued by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The authority has recommended an amount of ₹50,000 per deceased person including those involved in relief operations or associated in preparedness activities subject to cause of death being certified as COVID-19 as per the guidelines.

After the NDMA recommendations in September, questions were raised about the accuracy of COVID death count in Telangana. As per the bulletin issued by the State Health department on Monday, a total of 3,967 COVID deaths have been recorded between March 2 last year and November 8 this year.

Panel constitution

The CDAC will have District Collector as chairman, District Medical Health Officer as member-convener and the Superintendent of headquarters hospital as a member.

The committee will examine grievances of the next of kin of the deceased, and propose necessary remedial measures, including issuance of amended ‘Official Document for COVID-19 Death’ after verifying facts in accordance with the guidelines.

The application for the document and grievance redressal have to be disposed of within three days of submission of the application or registering of the grievance.

Officials from the Health department have also communicated ‘Guidelines for officials document for COVID 19 death’ issued by Ministry of Health. The guiding principles state that deaths occurring due to poisoning, suicide, homicide, deaths due to accidents etc. will not be considered as a COVID death even if COVID-19 is an accompanying condition.

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