India has a robust system of reporting Covid-19 deaths, said the Centre, in the wake of reports suggesting the under reporting of mortality numbers.

Pointing out that it has been transparent in the management of Covid-19 data and that a robust system to record deaths already exists, the Health Ministry said States and Union Territories have been entrusted with the responsibility to update the data in this particular system on a continuous basis.

“There have been some speculative media reports claiming higher fatality figures due to Covid, based on data from National Health Mission’s Health Management Information System (HMIS). The report compares data from the Civil Registration System (CRS) and HMIS to draw erroneous inferences,” the Ministry clarified. Further, it added that attributing any death to Covid without any basis than based on empirical data, is “fallacious and such inferences are mere figments of imagination”.

District-wise deaths

To avoid inconsistency in the number of deaths being reported, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued ‘Guidance for appropriate recording of Covid-related deaths in India’ for the correct recording of deaths as per ICD-10 codes recommended by World Health Organisation (WHO) for mortality coding, the statement said. The Ministry also emphasised the need for a robust reporting mechanism to monitor district-wise cases and deaths on a daily basis.

The clarification comes even as several States have been adding their death backlog to the daily toll. Recently, Madhya Pradesh added its backlog of 1,478 deaths. Similarly,

Maharashtra, too, had done this in June adding a backlog of casualties to the daily toll. According to reports, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Odisha have also reconciled the number of deaths recorded.

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