76 Covid deaths in capital so far this month, doctors say no need to panic

More than 70 deaths have been reported till April 27 in Delhi due to Covid-19, with seven each being reported over the past two days — the highest so far this year. However, in most of these deaths — 39 — Covid was not the primary cause.

Since April 1, the Covid bulletin issued by the state health department has been separating total deaths into two categories: deaths in which the primary cause of death is Covid and in which Covid finding is incidental.

According to senior health officials, the decision was taken after discussions with the death audit committee.

In 2020, under ICMR guidelines, all deaths in which the Covid report was positive were being declared as deaths due to the virus. However, In 2021, the Delhi government established a death audit committee to analyse the deaths. Now, only deaths due to Covid pneumonia are being declared Covid deaths.

Of the 76 total deaths since April 1, 16 are due to Covid and 39 are in which the primary cause was not Covid.

Explaining how deaths are being classified, an official working with the health department said, “If a person has come to hospital for some other treatment or the death happens due to an accident, stroke, heart attack etc, and if it is found that he or she had Covid, then it is termed incidental.”

The official said the reason behind the categorisation was to ensure there is no panic among people. “Most patients who lost their lives due to Covid pneumonia also had other severe co-morbidities and were old,” added the official.

Health department officials did not respond to queries on the age group of those who died due to Covid.

Experts have said the elderly and those with comorbid conditions need to be careful and should wear masks.

According to Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, people in the 20-40 age group are showing symptoms but it is not serious or life-threatening.

On Thursday, Delhi reported 865 fresh Covid cases and a positivity rate of 16.90%. On Wednesday, it saw 1,040 cases. Dr Chatterjee said the case count over the next 4-5 days needs to be observed and if it remains less than what was reported Thursday, then one can say a downward trend has started.



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