Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has again stated that not all cases that tested positive in preliminary examination will be included on the list of COVID deaths.
Minister KK Shailaja said the state will follow the guidelines approved by the World Health Organization in preparing the COVID death list.
Only those cases where a patient dies after becoming critical due to the damage caused to organs by COVID will be included on the death list.
If COVID is only suspected at the time of death, then that cannot be included immediately. It will be put on the list only after expert examination, medical report and a committee that includes doctors confirms it.
A person who dies after a critical illness becomes severe and then tests positive will also not be included.
On the other hand, if a person is old or has other illnesses but dies after organs are affected by the coronavirus will be included on the COVID death list.
If a person dies while being treated for COVID, the samples will be immediately tested.
Those who are brought to a hospital dead or those deaths in which doctors suspect COVID will also be tested for the virus. GeneXpert test or a TrueNat test will be conducted to ensure there is no delay in releasing the body.
If the TrueNat test shows positive, then it does not mean the person will be positive always. But the body will be released from the hospital saying the person was COVID positive.
Such bodies will be cremated in line with the COVID protocol. At the same time, samples taken from the bodies will be sent to the National Institute of Virology unit in Alappuzha.
The result of the unit and the medical report of the hospital concerned will be taken into account before confirming a death was caused due to COVID.
Those deaths that are thus confirmed to have been caused by COVID are usually included in the Chief Minister's daily briefing to the press or in the Health Minister's press release on the same day, the Health Minister said.
“There is no basis for the allegation that COVID deaths are being hidden by the government,” she said.