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Non-hospital deaths attributed for rapid rise in COVID-19 fatality toll in Odisha

The health authorities of the State government on Friday claimed the recount of the patients dying at home has triggered the rising death graph. The excess toll has been due to non-hospital or deaths at home which had earlier gone unreported.

SNS | Bhubaneswar |

With Odisha reporting over 48% deaths of the cumulative COVID-19 fatality toll in less than two months, the health authorities of the State government on Friday claimed the recount of the patients dying at home has triggered the rising death graph.

The details of past deaths in the 2nd wave of the pandemic are currently being meticulously audited in each of the 30 districts besides in municipal corporation areas and urban local bodies. After the cause of death was identified as due to COVID-19, the recounted toll is being made public, said a senior official of the health and family welfare department.

As it has been found by the audit squad, the excess toll has been due to non-hospital or deaths at home which had earlier gone unreported. It has come to the notice that infected persons shied away from hospitalization due to the negative publicity surrounding the Covid treatment at health facilities. Besides, the stigma associated with COVID also played a major role in delayed hospitalization or avoidance of hospital treatment. The whimsical and indifferent attitude of people proved fatal resulting in the death of patients which otherwise could have been averted. Timely hospitalization could have saved many precious lives. But people grossly erred in judgment by avoiding hospital treatment, the official informed.

Instances of delayed hospitalization of patients with dipping oxygen saturation have also come to light despite government machinery initiating a massive sensitization campaign. Saving the critically ill admitted at a delayed stage in COVID hospitals had become a major challenge for healthcare professionals. The registration of births and deaths is being carried out by the State government under the provisions of the Registration of Birth and Death (RBD) Act, 1969. The registered deaths were taken up by the audit squads at the district level to ascertain whether the fatality was due to covid or non-covid factor, he added.