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Panel formed to decide on COVID-19 deaths

By STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, July 11 - The State health department has constituted a �death audit board� that will decide if a death of a COVID-19 positive patient can be attributed to novel coronavirus infection. The board will be headed by Director of Medical Education Dr Anup Kumar Barman.

While the State has recorded 35 deaths of positive patients so far, doubts have been expressed if the cause of all of them was COVID-19 or due to their pre-existing co-morbid conditions.

�ICMR has issued a guideline which states that death of all COVID-19 patients should not be considered as COVID-19 deaths unless the person was primarily dying due to the virus,� Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

On the basis of an advisory, the ICMR has created a format that needs to be filled up while assessing the cause of death of a patient.

�Though I will share the information about the deaths of positive patients, it may not reflect correspondingly in the State�s tally. Only if the guidelines are met and the board feels that the underlying cause of death is COVID-19, we will classify it as COVID-19 death,� the minister added.

According to the ICMR guidelines, authorities must list COVID-19 as an �underlying cause of death� leading to ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), cardiac injury, pneumonia and other primary causes of death where a person who tested positive has died due to no other complications.

It is not clear if the 35 deaths so far will be assessed again and the casualty tally reconciled.

During the day, one Nripen Debnath (55), a COVID-19 patient with history of kidney ailment, who came intubated and ventilated, and was admitted in the GMCH ICU, passed away early this morning.

Later in the evening, Shanta Asharjee (40), a COVID patient with history of pneumonia, type-2 diabetes, hypothyroidism and admitted at GMCH, succumbed.

�Death audit board will ascertain whether underlying cause of death is COVID-19,� the minister said.

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Panel formed to decide on COVID-19 deaths

GUWAHATI, July 11 - The State health department has constituted a �death audit board� that will decide if a death of a COVID-19 positive patient can be attributed to novel coronavirus infection. The board will be headed by Director of Medical Education Dr Anup Kumar Barman.

While the State has recorded 35 deaths of positive patients so far, doubts have been expressed if the cause of all of them was COVID-19 or due to their pre-existing co-morbid conditions.

�ICMR has issued a guideline which states that death of all COVID-19 patients should not be considered as COVID-19 deaths unless the person was primarily dying due to the virus,� Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

On the basis of an advisory, the ICMR has created a format that needs to be filled up while assessing the cause of death of a patient.

�Though I will share the information about the deaths of positive patients, it may not reflect correspondingly in the State�s tally. Only if the guidelines are met and the board feels that the underlying cause of death is COVID-19, we will classify it as COVID-19 death,� the minister added.

According to the ICMR guidelines, authorities must list COVID-19 as an �underlying cause of death� leading to ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), cardiac injury, pneumonia and other primary causes of death where a person who tested positive has died due to no other complications.

It is not clear if the 35 deaths so far will be assessed again and the casualty tally reconciled.

During the day, one Nripen Debnath (55), a COVID-19 patient with history of kidney ailment, who came intubated and ventilated, and was admitted in the GMCH ICU, passed away early this morning.

Later in the evening, Shanta Asharjee (40), a COVID patient with history of pneumonia, type-2 diabetes, hypothyroidism and admitted at GMCH, succumbed.

�Death audit board will ascertain whether underlying cause of death is COVID-19,� the minister said.

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