Published On: Fri, Apr 24th, 2020

IMCT questions West Bengal’s logic for Covid death audit panel

Kolkata: Not convinced with the reasons advanced by the West Bengal government for setting up a committee of doctors to decide on the cause of death of Covid patients, an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) on Friday sought an interaction with the panel and asked the state administration to spell out whether the system is in line with ICMR guidelines or medical practice.

IMCT did not find the reason convincing as there is no comparison between a road death and a death in a hospital due to disease

In a letter to state Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha, the team leader Apurva Chandra also asked for the government order constituting the committee and the case records of all Covid patients whose death has been attributed to some other cause by the committee.

“The Principal Secretary, Health, in his presentation on April 23 gave some reasons for establishment of the committee of doctors and also mentioned that if a Covid patients dies in a road accident, he cannot be said to have died of Covid.

“The IMCT did not find the reason convincing as there is no comparison between a road death and a death in a hospital due to disease,” Chandra said in his letter.

Chandra, an Additional Secretary to the central government, said the committee wanted to have more information and interaction to understand the issue better.

He also sought to know about the time taken by the committee to come to its conclusion and whether such a committee to ascertain the cause of death existed for any other disease in Bengal.

The constitution of the panel, called death audit committee, has generated a controversy in the state, with a section of doctors and opposition political parties calling it a measure to suppress the number of Covid 19 related deaths in the state.

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