The Central Government has informed the Supreme Court that authorities have come up with new guidelines for issuing documents for Covid-related deaths. In an affidavit submitted to the apex court, the Central Government made it clear that deaths that occur within 30 days of testing positive for Covid will be considered Covid deaths. This criterion is applicable even if a person dies outside a hospital or in-patient facility. 

Fresh Covid death guidelines

The affidavit also added that a Covid patient who is admitted to a hospital for more than 30 days and subsequently dies will be also treated as ''death due to Covid infection.'' To be designated as a Covid case, the infection should have been diagnosed through RT-PCR test, molecular test, rapid-antigen test, or clinically determined through investigations at a hospital or in-patient facility. 

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However, there are some exceptions. A person who dies due to poisoning, accident, or homicide will not be considered Covid death, even if the patient is tested positive for the infection. 

"Covid-19 cases which are not resolved and have died either in hospital settings or at home, and where a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) in Form 4 & 4 A has been issued to the registering authority as required under Section 10 of the Registration of Birth and Death (RBD) Act, 1969, will be treated as a Covid-19 death," says the guideline. 

New guidelines may shed light on exact Covid death figures

Experts believe that the new guidelines issued by the Central Government could shed light on exact Covid death figures happening in India. A few weeks back, opposition parties in Kerala had alleged that the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government is not recording Covid deaths in a proper manner. As the new guidelines come into place, it is expected that the way in which Covid deaths are being distinguished and recorded in states like Kerala will be changed in the coming days.