THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The health department will issue directives to make the list of all Covid deaths available at the panchayat level, Health Minister Veena George informed the assembly on Tuesday. She was responding to criticism from Opposition leader V D Satheesan, who pointed out that the kin of the deceased did not know whether the name of the deceased person figured in the official list.
The health department did not publish the names of people who died of Covid in its daily statements between December 2020 to June 14, 2021. The minister said the list is already available with the district medical officer. The lack of accessibility to the list created confusion as the state took a stand that the families having dispute regarding the cause of death had to lodge personal complaints.
The Opposition alleged that the department had flouted the ICMR guidelines on reporting Covid deaths and several thousand deaths had been excluded from the list. Their families will be denied benefits if the Supreme Court directed the Centre or state to give compensation in the future, said Satheesan. The minister replied that the state had no intention to conceal the deaths and a probe is on to find out if anyone had been deliberately left out of the list.The minister said that the government has taken up with the Centre, the problems faced by expats with the Covid vaccination certificate.