Adhering to guidelines of ICMR, not under-reporting Covid deaths: Gujarat CM | India News – Times of India

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on Sunday denied Covid deaths were being under-counted and “assured people every death is being investigated and recorded by the death audit committee”.
In reply to a question during an interview to TOI, he said, “You are referring to the visuals of many pyres at crematoriums. Yes, deaths have increased over the past few days. The rise in Covid mortality has been recorded across the country. The method of recording Covid deaths has been stipulated by ICMR and all states, including Gujarat, are following it. Other states are also not recording the deaths of comorbid patients as Covid fatalities. Across Indian states, the daily mortality rate hovers around 1%, which is closer to what Gujarat is reporting.”
Asked about the ambulances lined up outside hospitals every day, Rupani said, “We are at a peak in cities such as Ahmedabad where even with the 14,000 overall bed capacity, private hospitals are nearly full. Thus, we are constantly increasing beds in government hospitals and those run by the municipal corporation. Of the 8,000-odd beds at Medicity, over 3,000 are earmarked for Covid patients. Yes, there are queues of ambulances. But one must understand that against 25 patients in the queue, there are 3,000 being treated inside the hospital. We are not sending anyone back. Patients are assured of beds and treatment.”
As for relatives alleging long waits to claim bodies, he said, “See, after a patient’s death, it takes about two hours for the death audit committee to complete its work. Then there are other procedures, including the identification of the deceased. We understand the sentiments of relatives. Thus, we have a system in place under which the officials release the body after coordination with crematoriums to reduce the waiting time. We are now also allowing the last rites of patients from outside the cities at their native places. Our purpose is to free the medical staff from this coordination function. Also, we have deployed over 22 IAS officers on Covid duty.”
The chief minister said tests had been ramped up from about 50,000 a day around March 15 to over 1.7 lakh on April 17. “We have increased the share of RT-PCR tests in the total tests to 50% —whether they are performed in urban or rural areas. The labs are working round the clock, and we are ensuring that the test results are delivered within 48 hours.”
On the government’s efforts to deal with the surge in cases, he said, “The state has added 37,000 beds for Covid treatment, taking the total number to 78,000. Of the total, 35,000 are now oxygen beds and 10,000 ICU beds. We are adding 8,000 beds with oxygen supply in next 10 days on a war footing.”

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