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464 omitted deaths added to Kerala’s Covid toll, more likely to be included

After dragging its feet over rectifying the official Covid toll, the state government on Friday published the first set of 464 omitted persons.

Published: 23rd October 2021 06:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd October 2021 06:11 AM   |  A+A-

Coronavirus death, covid death, cremation

Representational Image. (File Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After dragging its feet over rectifying the official Covid toll, the state government on Friday published the first set of 464 omitted persons. With 99 deaths also being reported on the day, 563 deaths have been added, taking the official toll to 27,765. The toll will increase in the coming days as more missed deaths will be re-categorised as due to Covid.

As the government failed to include these deaths even two weeks after the health minister’s announcement in the assembly, it had faced severe criticism.  Of the 464 deaths added, the names of 292 persons were omitted due to the problems of the centralised death reporting system that existed till June 18. The death of remaining 172 was declared due to Covid following the appeals filed by the kin.

The most number of omitted persons added to the official toll was in Thiruvananthapuram (289), which was considered better at reporting Covid deaths than other districts. The capital district have recorded 4,508 deaths after the inclusion. 

Districts such as Ernakulam (45), Kannur (36), Thrissur (36) and Palakkad (30) made more inclusions based on the appeals filed by the families. The Covid death information portal started by the health department to allow families to submit appeals has received 12,144 appeals till Friday.

The announcement came amid concerns about the delay in declaring the missed deaths. Health Minister Veena George had informed the assembly that the death of around 7,000 people, whose names were omitted due to various reasons, would be added. These deaths had happened between March 2020 when the first Covid death occurred in the state and June 18 this year when the department introduced a better reporting system.

Health activists had accused the government of under-counting Covid deaths as the centralised body could override the decision of the doctors who attended to the patients. The health department had justified the omission saying that it could be due to lack of clarity in the medical bulletin of the deceased person, problems in uploading the details or other reasons. 

Meanwhile, more families started demanding Covid death certificates for the deceased members after the Supreme Court directed the government to provide compensation.



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