The Centre on Sunday informed the Supreme Court that all those who died with Covid-19 infection would be certified as "death due to Covid" irrespective of the co-morbidities they carried.
Responding to petitions alleging that governments were not certifying Covid-caused deaths honestly to avoid liability for payment of ex gratia under the Disaster Management Act, the Centre said in an affidavit, "All deaths with a diagnosis of Covid-19, irrespective of co-morbidities, are to be classified as deaths due to Covid-19. The only exception could be where there is an alternative cause of death, that can't be attributed to Covid (eg accidental trauma, poisoning, acute myocardial infarction etc), where Covid-19 is an incidental finding."
It said 'death certification' is required to be done for recording deaths in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Registrar General of India. The primary goal of certification of cause of death (death certificate) is to identify and correctly classify all deaths due to a medical condition (eg Covid-19) and to eliminate any discrepancy in coding so as to obtain true estimates of the burden of Covid deaths, it said.
'Death audit', on the other hand, was an exercise to identify gaps that contribute to deaths of patients, the Centre said. The aim was to improve quality of healthcare services by corrective measures to prevent/minimise future deaths.