NEW DELHI :
Three states and an equal number of Union territories (UTs) comprising Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Sikkim, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Ladakh, and Lakshadweep have administered the first dose of covid-19 vaccines to all their eligible population, the government said on Sunday.
More than 722.1 million vaccine doses have been made available so far by the government and through direct purchases by states, according to the Union health ministry. Further, more than 5.7 million doses are being procured and more than 51.6 million covid-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, the Centre told the Supreme Court that it has issued guidelines to identify covid-related deaths for providing compensation to the kin of the deceased.
The Centre said the Office of the Registrar General of India on 3 September issued a circular to provide a medical certificate for the cause of death to the kin of those who have died of covid.
According to the guidelines, covid-19 cases diagnosed through RT-PCR test, molecular test, rapid-antigen test or clinically determined through investigations at a hospital or in-patient facility by a treating physician, while admitted at the hospital or in-patient facility, would be considered for the document.
Deaths occurring due to suicide, homicide, and accidents will not be considered as covid-19 deaths even if the person was infected by the virus, the guidelines stated. Covid-19 cases that were not resolved and patients either died in a hospital or home and where a medical certificate on the cause of the death was issued to the registering authority will also be treated as a covid-19 death. The registrar general of India will issue necessary guidelines to chief registrars of all states and UTs in this regard.
According to a Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) study, 95% of deaths take place within 25 days of a person testing covid-19 positive, the guidelines state. “To make the scope broader and more inclusive, deaths occurring within 30 days from the date of testing or from the date of being clinically determined as a covid-19 case will be treated as ‘deaths due to covid-19, even if the death takes place outside the hospital/in-patient facility,” the guidelines stated.
A covid-19 patient, while admitted at a hospital or in-patient facility, and who remained admitted beyond 30 days, and died subsequently, shall also be treated as a covid death, according to the guidelines.
In cases where the medical certificate is not available, or the next of kin of the deceased is not satisfied with the cause of death given in the certificate and in conditions that are not covered by the guidelines, states and UTs will have to set up a committee at the district level to resolve disputes.
In a separate statement, the health ministry said at least 28,591 new covid cases were reported in the past 24 hours with 338 deaths. The active caseload is presently 384,921. Active cases presently constitute 1.16% of the country’s total positive cases. The daily positivity rate was at 1.87%, the health ministry data showed.
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