KASARGOD: Of late, several Covid patients are dying in the Tata Trust-built hospital, said health officials on condition of anonymity. “Yesterday, three patients died. Two woman and one man, all aged above 70,” said a doctor on Thursday. But daily statements from the district medical officer (DMO) and the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) from Thiruvananthapuram are silent on the Covid deaths in Kasaragod.
At least 36 Covid-infected persons have died in the district in the first six days of May, according to health officials. But the last time the government of Kerala’s dashboard was updated with a death from Kasaragod was on April 22. That day, the official statement from DHS said a 67-year-old male died of Covid. In April, DHS recorded 12 deaths from Kasaragod. Going by the Covid dashboard of DHS, 122 persons died of Covid in Kasaragod.
The district medical officer stopped revealing the death toll four months ago. The last time he shared Covid fatality was on December 28, 2020, and the death toll was 248.On January 4, the district medical officer started sharing the total number of patients infected by Covid since February 3, 2020, the total number of recovered patients, and the active cases but left out the number of Covid deaths.
According to the DMO’s statement on January 4, the total number of infections was 24,392, the total number of recovered patients was 23,370 and the number of active cases was 768. Going by this data, 254 patients are not recorded under any category. A top health official in the district said “the missing patients” could be the number of deaths in the district.So, between December 28 and January 4, six persons succumbed to Covid.
By the same interpretation, on Thursday (May 6), Kasaragod reported 1,158 cases of Covid, taking the total number of active cases to 14,243. The DMO’s statement on the day said 53,244 persons contracted Covid till date and 38,605 persons recovered from the disease. According to this data, 396 patients are not recorded under any category. The number of ‘missing’ patients on Wednesday was 376.
The DHS dashboard says 38 persons died of Covid in Kasaragod since January 1. If the DMO’s death toll released on December 28 is added to the DHS data, 286 persons have died in Kasaragod of Covid, a death rate of 0.54%. Yet the dashboard says only 122 persons have died of Covid, with a death rate of 0.23%.
When asked if the department was under-reporting or covering up the deaths, officials said it was a clerical delay in updating the website.