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The curious tale of two COVID-19 deaths in Kerala

Though 71-year-old Mehroof P was undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College Hospital in Pariyaram, Kannur, his death was counted under Puducherry’s head as he was a native of Mahe.

Published: 13th April 2020 02:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th April 2020 02:20 AM   |  A+A-

Medics prepare to cremate a COVID-19 patient during the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (Photo | PTI)

Medics prepare to cremate a COVID-19 patient during the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The deaths of two Covid patients — a Mahe native who died in Kannur on Saturday and a Palakkad native who died in Coimbatore on Friday — have put data crunchers in a fix. Though 71-year-old Mehroof P was undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College Hospital in Pariyaram, Kannur, his death was counted under Puducherry’s head as he was a native of Mahe.

Perplexingly enough, the death of the Palakkad native in Coimbatore did not figure in the list of both Kerala and Tamil Nadu. “In a world where ‘where-to-add-a-case’ rules are made and changed at whims and not standardised, state governments will forever forget such deaths amid its competition to look good in terms of patient numbers and deaths,” tweeted Nikhil Narayanan, a data cruncher and volunteer for Covid Kerala tracking site.

Another person who has been keenly tracking Covid cases in the state said these cases should figure under ‘place of detection’ and ‘place of infection’, where the patient acts as a source. “What will happen if a foreigner dies here? If they are cured, that is our credit, otherwise it’s their liability,” said the person.

Someone dying or recovering is not a reason to fight for brownie points. It’s a global pandemic and we need to fight this together, he added.

“With regard to the Mahe case, it happened very much in the state as the place acts as a reservoir for Kannur district. People have several relatives in both places,” he said, driving home the point that it should have been included under Kerala’s list. Due to the difference in sets of reporting, there are several mismatches between various data sets, said the Covid trackers.

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